Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Treasure Island to keep voting district configuration with tweaks to account for population shifts

TREASURE ISLAND — If you ask most residents where they live, the responses tend to be Paradise Island, Isle of Capri, Isle of Palms, Sunset Beach or Sunshine Beach.

Those are the city's major neighborhoods, and in some cases individually incorporated towns, dating back to before the city was consolidated and incorporated as Treasure Island in 1955.

Most residents assume that their voting districts line up with those neighborhoods.

Not so.

The big debate at Tuesday's commission workshop was whether voting districts should be redrawn to conform with the neighborhoods' geographical boundaries.

The answer was yes and no.

The city has four voting districts that each elect a commissioner. The fifth member of the commission, the mayor, is elected citywide.

The city's charter requires that the boundaries for these districts be reviewed and possibly redrawn every 10 years, utilizing the most recent U.S. Census figures.

The last time voting districts were changed, each of the historic neighborhoods was assigned part of the beach to their voting districts.

In order to keep the voting populations relatively even, part of the Isle of Capri (District 1) was moved into District 2, which encompasses the Isle of Palms.

Since then, the city's population has shifted, with District 2 now having 201 more residents than Paradise Island's District 3.

The solution proposed by Paula Cohen, senior planner for the city, is to adjust the district lines slightly, giving District 3 a chunk of District 2's beach area. The other district lines would remain relatively the same.

Cohen also presented another option: Align the commission voting districts with the original neighborhoods.

The problem with that solution, she said, is that the Isle of Capri has a much greater population and would have nearly 600 residents more than District 4, which encompasses Sunset Beach.

District 1 (Isle of Capri) Commissioner Phil Collins really liked the idea, however, and pushed for the city to revert to neighborhood-aligned voting districts.

"For simplicity of the residents, that would be the way to go. The residents don't know which district they live in," Collins said.

Mayor Bob Minning and District 2 (Isle of Palms) Commissioner Gail Collins agreed at first, but backed off when District 4 (Sunset Beach) Commissioner Alan Bildz suggested there could be a constitutional issue.

"It's impossible. It's supposed to be based on equal representation," Bildz said.

City Attorney Maura Kiefer also cautioned that neighborhood-based voting districts could potentially violate both the city's charter and the U.S. Constitution.

"One of the elements in redistricting is to reach mathematical precision. There is supposed to be an attempt for some type of balance," Kiefer said.

In the end, the commission agreed to keep the present district configuration with only minor changes to account for population shifts.

That means that part of the Isle of Capri would still be part of the Isle of Palms voting district. And part of the Isle of Palms voting district would shift to the Paradise Island voting district.

The commission still needs to vote twice to make the proposed new district lines official.

"Then it will be our responsibility to make sure people know who represents them," said Commission Carol Coward, who represents District 3 (Paradise Island).

Treasure Island to keep voting district configuration with tweaks to account for population shifts 10/08/11 [Last modified: Friday, October 7, 2011 1:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Bruno Mars' charisma glitters like gold at Tampa's Amalie Arena

    Blogs

    Nothing in this world should be as easy as Bruno Mars makes it look. Not singing, not dancing, and certainly not playfully seducing more than 17,500 starry-eyed Tampa fans with one of pop music’s best bands at your back.

    Bruno Mars performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Oct. 19, 2017.
  2. Mikhail Sergachev scores twice as Lightning shuts out Blue Jackets (w/ video)

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Mikhail Sergachev said he blacked out for a few seconds after his first NHL goal Thursday night, a rocket slap shot from the point.

    Mikhail Sergachev, front, looks like he’s very in the moment with teammate Dan Girardi after scoring his first NHL goal, though he says he blacked out for a bit. He scores again in the second.
  3. Dodgers rout Cubs 11-1 to win pennant, head to World Series for first time since '88

    Ml

    CHICAGO — Enrique Hernandez put a Hollywood ending on an LA story three decades in the making.

    The Dodgers celebrate their Game 5 victory Thursday night over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, putting Los Angeles in the World Series for the first time since 1988.
  4. Another suspicious death in Tampa's Seminole Heights

    Crime

    TAMPA — Police were investigating what they were calling a suspicious death in southeast Seminole Heights Thursday night, near the location of two fatal shootings last week.

    Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan addresses reporters about the latest suspicious death in southeast Seminole Heights Thursday night. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL | Times]
  5. Duke tops preseason coaches' basketball poll; Gators No. 7

    College

    Duke has been tabbed basketball's preseason No. 1 for the second straight season in the coaches' poll, released Thursday.

    Florida point guard Chris Chiozza launches the shot of last season’s NCAA Tournament, a winning 3
against Wisconsin that put the Gators into the Elite Eight. Chiozza returns to lead a UF team that’s getting its share of preseason attention, including a No. 7 ranking in the coaches’ poll.