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City Commission OKs New District Maps

For the first time in 26 years, Sarasota's commissioner districts will have a slightly new look.

For the first time in 26 years, Sarasota's commissioner districts will have a slightly new look.

The City Commission voted 5-0 Monday to approve new commission district maps, determining which commissioner residents would vote for, and what the new maps mean is that some Dist. 3 voters will now be in Dist. 1.

The original districts had a spread of 13.1 percent between them, Fournier said, so the districts needed to be redrawn to be 10 percent or below without significantly diluting the black vote.

District 1 now extends east to North Lockwood Ridge Road along the city's northern border on 17th Street, heads south on Lockwood Ridge, then back west to Tuttle Avenue along 12th Street, south on Tuttle again, west on 8th Street, south on North Rhodes Avenue south to Fruitville Road.

Commissioner Willie Charles Shaw went with the third map instead of the second map that would feature higher percentages in his district because in raw numbers, he would gain more people.

"Bodies vote, percentages don't," Shaw said.

Shaw said he can live with the map for now, but believes all the plans begin to dilute the black vote and proposed that the commission in April take a look at establishing five commissioner districts, eliminating at-large commissioners, to have truly equal districts, in his eyes.

However, the motion died for a lack of a second.

Because of redistricting on all levels, all voters in the country will receive a new voter information card in June, said Ron Turner, chief of staff for the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections.

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