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Calumet City council members unanimously approve new neighborhood maps


New neighborhood boundaries for Calumet City aldermen were unanimously approved Thursday, with the City Council agreeing on maps to slightly redraw seven neighborhoods based on a population decline of about 2,000 people and a shift in density among central neighborhoods.

Each ward has more than 5,000 residents, and the main changes involve the boundaries of the middle wards on the city’s north side, according to public discussion on the maps led by city attorney Michael Kasper.

“I congratulate and thank each city council member for their work on this issue,” Mayor Thaddeus Jones said after the City Council approved the maps.

The new maps will be posted online shortly, officials said, but the maps presented to a packed house Thursday were similar to existing maps.

They said Ward 4 was losing the less populated area on the city’s west side to Ward 7 due to increased density in the north. It’s also a few blocks away from Ward 2, an area that now looks like a large square, its edges neatly lined up across from Wards 1 and 4. Ward 6 gives up one area in the south of the city to Ward 7 seven, while wards 1, 3 and 5 appear virtually unchanged.

A map showing proposed ward boundaries during Thursday’s meeting. (Hank Sanders/Daily Southtown)

As an example of how little these boundaries change, votes are unanimous, which is rare for at-large votes in general but especially difficult to achieve in Calumet City. where there are frequent fights over the law.

“I have been doing this job for 25 years. This is the first unanimous plan I have participated in,” Michael Kasper said in a comment that was met with applause from 60 people at the special council meeting.

Several residents shared their frustrations with one aspect of the redistricting, saying the City Council recently held an emergency meeting to review the maps on a Sunday afternoon that conflicted with an NFL playoff game.

“There were three people here,” Calumet City resident Darryl Jester said.

He said that he was not disappointed because the meeting was held in a short time and the participation was low, and that the municipality still did not make a block by block statement about the boundary changes.

When Jester argued with Jones after he responded to the mayor’s comments with a question, and Jester at one point referred to Jones by his first name and talked about him, Jones took him out of the room.

Neither Jones nor anyone else could explain the reason for scheduling the previous ward map meeting.

Many of the concerns of residents who supported Jester’s comments were assuaged when Kasper walked up to the television screens showing the new ward map and asked some of them to tell them their addresses. Most saw that they were in the same ward and read data that showed no ward was significantly larger than the others.



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