Charles Town works to redraw ward lines

CHARLES TOWN — An ordinance to ensure Charles Town is complying with state requirements for city ward boundaries will have its first public hearing on Monday. The ordinance will make sure wards that have grown in population are adequately represented.

The Charles Town City Council’s ordinance committee approved the proposal July 9. It will require two public hearings.

Councilman Mark Reinhart, who represents the city’s Ward 1, urged the council to take up the matter in the wake of the redrawing of magisterial districts in Jefferson County after the  2010 U.S. Census. The municipal precinct wards were redrawn by the county to reflect population growth. However, the city council ward boundaries were not changed.

Reinhart said at that time the populations of Wards 1 and 3 have grown considerably and the ward boundaries need to be balanced.

“People have told me they feel disenfranchised,” Reinhart said. “This needs to be done quickly.”

During the July 7 city council meeting, council members looked at proposed redistricting maps.

Charles Town is divided into four wards with two members representing each ward. The current ordinance does not call for the addition of more ward representatives.

The ordinance committee members are Wayne Clark, Ward 2, chairman; Reinhart; and Jonathan Wertman, Ward 3.

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