Councilor’s proposed plan creates new city council district, keeps incumbents in separate districts

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Carmel City Councilor Sue Finkam has filed a proposed redistricting plan to accommodate the city adding a new council member who will take office in 2020 as a result of Carmel becoming a second-class city.

The plan, filed Oct. 5, has six districts – west, north, central, northeast, southwest and southeast – with between 15,000 and 15,600 residents in each. Finkam is serving as redistricting coordinator and was tasked with working with the law firm Kroger, Gardis & Regas to develop a proposal.

The five incumbent councilors elected to represent a district reside within separate districts in the proposed plan. The proposed western district is not home to any current councilors.

Jeff Worrell, who represents the southeast side of the city, has announced that he will seek a newly created third at-large council seat also formed by Carmel becoming a second-class city. Adam Aasen, who announced his candidacy for the city council, resides in the proposed southeastern district, which is not home to any other incumbent councilors other than Worrell. Aasen previously said he would withdraw his candidacy if redistricting led to him running against a current city council member.

Home Place, a 1,017-acre area that Carmel annexed earlier this year after a 12-year court battle, is currently represented by Worrell in the southeast district. Under the new plan, it would be in the southwest district. Councilor Tony Green lives in the proposed southwest district and has indicated he plans to seek re-election.

The city accepted redistricting plans from members of the public through the Oct. 5 deadline. Carmel Clerk-Treasurer Christine Pauley said the city received five plans in addition to the one submitted by Finkam.

The city council is expected to hold a public hearing at its Oct. 15 meeting to review the redistricting plan. The tentative date for a public meeting to make revisions to the plan is Nov. 5. A certified copy of the final ordinance is planned to be submitted to the clerk of the Hamilton County Circuit Court by Dec. 5.

Guidelines for redistricting plans stated that the six districts should be comprised of contiguous territory, be reasonably compact, aim to not cross precinct boundary lines and contain generally equal populations. The city last redistricted in 2012 and will do it again in 2022, as law requires that it take place two years after the U.S. Census.

Finkam did not return a call seeking comment as of press time.

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