The Metropolitan Government's Charter requires the Planning Commission to review the census data within six months of receiving it, and if the districts for the Metropolitan Council and the Board of Education are no longer equal in population, the Planning Commission is required to recommend a redistricting plan.
On March 16, 2011, the Planning Commission received the census data, and the Planning Director, Mr. Rick Bernhardt, assured the public that his department would work to review the census data and redraw the boundaries in an expeditious manner.
The Planning Department has established a website with updates on the redistricting plan, which can be accessed via the following link: http://www.nashville.gov/mpc/redist.asp
A series of three community meetings will also be held beginning on Wednesday, March 23, to discuss the new lines for the districts. The schedule for these community meetings is listed below:
Wednesday, March 23 - Sonny West Conference Center, Howard Office Building, 700 Second Avenue South:
1:30 pm - 3 pm: Council, Board of Education, and Planning Commission members
4 pm - 6 pm: Community members and Council candidates
Monday, March 28 - Metro Southeast, 1417 Murfreesboro Pike:
1:30 pm - 3 pm: Community members and Council candidates
4 pm - 6 pm: Council, Board of Education, and Planning Commission members
Wednesday, March 30 - Sonny West Conference Center, Howard Office Building, 700 Second Avenue South:
1:30 pm - 3 pm Council, Board of Education, and Planning Commission members
4 pm - 6 pm Community members and Council candidates
The Planning Commission will review the proposed redistricting plan at a special meeting on March 31. Once the Planning Commission approves the redistricting plan, it will be forwarded on to Council for approval. The Council cannot amend or revise the boundaries; instead, following three readings of the plan, the Council can only approve or disapprove it. Vice Mayor Neighbors has assured the public that these three meetings will be conducted quickly, and it is likely that the redistricting plan could be approved before the May 19 deadline for candidates to disclose their intention to run for Council.
What all of this means is that until the redistricting is complete, there will be a level of uncertainty surrounding this election year. Waller Lansden will continue to monitor the redistricting process and will provide updates as events unfold.
For more information, please contact James Weaver, Erica Garrison, or any member of the Waller Lansden Government Relations Practice, at (615) 244-6380.