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Brunswick council to redraw district lines for municipal elections

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Brunswick council to redraw district lines for municipal elections

BRUNSWICK — A proposal to redraw municipal election boundaries would move some residents into different districts.

Those residents will essentially have new town councilors and School Board representatives if the state-mandated proposal is approved next week.

The Town Council is expected to act on the redistricting proposal on Dec. 2 after holding a public hearing. The change would go into effect by next year.

The redistricting proposal, with maps of the seven existing districts and how they will change, is available as part of the council's Nov. 18 meeting background material, which is online, at Town Hall and at Curtis Memorial Library. The material will also be in the packet for next week's meeting, expected to be available by Friday.

Councilors Ben Tucker and Margo Knight, who are both departing at the end of the year, worked on redrawing district borders with Town Clerk Fran Smith.

As mandated by state law and Town Charter, Tucker said, redistricting must happen every 10 years to balance district populations, based on the most recent U.S. Census data. 

Since it's difficult to create absolute parity between districts, the state allows a 10 percent margin of error.

That means district boundaries will have to change in order to accommodate shifting populations from over the past decade, Tucker said.

The proposal will move some District 1 residents along the Androscoggin River into District 5. This will change their local representatives from Councilor David Watson and School Board member Rich Ellis, to Councilor Jerry Favreau and board Chairman Jim Grant.

Tucker, whose term expires in December, said the redistricting proposal will not move any current councilors or School Board members out of their districts.

Dylan Martin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or dmartin@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DylanLJMartin.