ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–Ten years after the same issue led to a nasty filibuster that forced one alderman to go to the bathroom in a trash can rather than yield the floor — The St. Louis Board of Alderman is moving, quietly, toward passage of a new ward redistricting map.
The Aldermanic Legislative Committee has passed a new ward map to reflect changes in population revealed in the latest census. The plan is expected to pass the full board in a matter of weeks, then head to the Mayor’s office for his signature.
Committee Chair, Alderman Phyllis Young, was on the board ten years ago when the trash can incident shocked onlookers and led to jokes about St. Louis in Jay Leno’s Tonight Show monologue.
“It’s been three months of communication,” Young explained, when asked why there has been no big fight this time around. Young says she avoided friction by making no drastic moves of wards from one part of the city to another. Also, she says, a series of public meetings helped determine gradually which boundaries people could live with.
If there was any tension this time, Young says it came from the population drop in north St. Louis. To make the 28 wards even, several northside wards had to shift their boundaries southward — into the central corridor.
“You know there’s some people who want to keep the north and the south and the east and the west points of their ward,” Young said, “So, there was lots of negotiations about that.”
Voters could see some changes in their wards, if the new map becomes law.
“It could mean that some people will have a different alderman and different polling places,” Young said, “Those will be set up after this is made official.”