Austin’s new 10-1 map is out and not everyone is happy about it.
Last November, voters improved Austin to be divided into 10 different districts, each represented by one council member and one mayor over the city. Currently, all council members hold at-large seats.
An Independent Citizen’s Redistricting Commission has completed its first draft of the new districts. At a community input meeting Monday night, some Austin residents spoke out against the maps, saying the districts break up established neighborhood associations.
"This preliminary map literally splits our neighborhood in half," Carol Martin with the South River City Citizens Neighborhood Association said. "We believe that we should continue to be regarded as a community that has these interests in common."
Tom Knuckles lives in Barton Hills, but his proposed district includes Muller, the University of Texas and downtown.
"We think that people should be in a district that all use the same roads, go to the same parks, use the same swimming pools," Knuckles said."It's going to be very difficult for a single council member to represent all of those different groups."
What is proposed to be District 7 stretches from the Colorado River to Pflugerville.
"District 7 is a gerrymander,” Allandale resident David Orshallic said. “So Allandale sits in a gerrymandered district where our ability to have any influence on city council will be diluted."
Neighborhood groups that would fall in District 7 say they want to be grouped with people who share their concerns.
"Our neighborhoods share similar demographics, and as early suburban neighborhoods we are dealing with growth and face similar issues such as how we deal with development along the Burnet road corridor," David Mintz with the Allandale Neighborhood Association said.
Over the next two months, commissioners will try to address the community's concerns as they look for a fair way to divide the city.
The next public input meeting is scheduled for Saturday Oct. 19. Commissioners hope to finish the map by Dec. 1.