Voters in Selma may end up voting on how the city will be redistricted in the March 2020 election, but for now the city is moving forward on its current plan to create districts.
The council has wavered on how to go from an at-large election to district elections. In July, it voted to have five districts. Then, at the last meeting on Oct. 7 when the council could have adopted a five-district map, it amended that decision in a 3-2 vote to go to four districts with an at-large elected mayor.
The council has another 90 days to create new maps with four districts. But the district map the council will eventually choose might not last very long. The council will vote at the next meeting to put a measure on the ballot that would let voters pick between five council districts or four council districts with an at-large mayor.
During the last council meeting, multiple people spoke during public comment and asked the council to let voters decide on how many districts the city should have. Council members have been split on the number of districts they think the city should have. So “why not let the people decide?” Mayor Pro Tem Louis Franco said earlier this month.
At Monday’s meeting, Joel Fedor, who ran for a seat on the Selma City Council during the last election, brought the subject up again to the council. “This is a pretty hot topic, and so I would like to ask each one of you five to be on the record, would you let the people pick?”
All five council members replied to Fedor and said they would support putting a measure on the ballot. If the vote passes, the measure could cost the city an estimated $3,000, city staff said.
Mayor Scott Robertson said he supports “anything” that gives residents more input.
“Folks, I’m for supporting anything that gives you more access and more power in our city and being able to select your own mayor that gives you more power, that gives you more representation,” he said.
In the meantime, Selma is still moving forward to adopt a four district map with an at-large elected mayor. The first set of maps will also be shown at the next meeting.
The deadline for community members to submit their own maps is Friday.