Lawsuit Accuses New Ward Map of Gerrymandering
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — A northside man is filing a federal lawsuit against the city of St. Louis, alleging that the recent redistricting of the political wards was “gerrymandered” to make it easier for developer Paul McKee to knock down buildings.
The suit being filed by Mark Ogier, a 5th ward resident and Republican central committeeman, argues that the city violated its own charter by moving ward lines based not on population, but on moving chunks of lands into adjacent wards where preservation rules are more lax to demolish properties.
“It’s interesting to note that two of the three wards that are the worst offenders to the charter are not perseverance review districts,” Ogier said, “In other words, the aldermen in those wards have final say on demolition and eminent domain.”
Ogier argues that instead of expanding wards neatly south to accommodate a loss of population in north St. Louis, the new map employs irregular shaped borders and an occasional peninsula that fails to meet the standard of “compact and contiguous territories.”
“If you look at the shape of the wards three, five and nineteen, they look more like a Rorschach test than a compact territory,” Ogier said.
The suit names Mayor Slay, the Board of Aldermen and the St. Louis Board of Elections.
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