Favored plan would move Barksdale to Council District 2
The Bossier City Council reviewed the plans to redraw their districts during a special meeting Tuesday, with the biggest item being the relocation of Barksdale Air Force Base from District 4 to District 2.
Growth in the northern and southern portions of Bossier City has caused the realignment of council districts. The council has been given seven different plans by cartographer Gary Joiner, with the members favoring Plan 7.
This would put common interest areas together, putsthe traditional neighborhoods of Districts 3 and 5 back together, and would move Barksdale Air Force Base from District 4 back to District 2 after it relocated due to the 2000 census.
A summary of the maps are:
- Plan 1 is the current district. The problem is the districts are malapportioned with deviations ranging from plus-15.09 percent in District 1 to minus-15.47 percent in District 5.
- Plan 2 is a mathematical options that puts all districts in statistical alignment but splits some traditional neighborhoods, especially "Old Bossier" and neighborhoods along the Red River.
- Plan 3 was the first map with council input. It puts all districts in statistical alignment but balance between Districts 4 and 5 create awkward alignments and would also splits some traditional neighborhoods.
- Plan 4 is modified Plan 3 — it cleans up some of the alignments between Districts 4 and 5 but still split traditional neighborhoods.
- Plan 5 is a modified Plan 4 — it tries to clean up some of the alignments between Districts 1 and 3, particularly between Bellaire and Shady Grove. But it still split traditional neighborhoods and impacted District 2.
- Plan 6 modified Plan 5 and restoring Barksdale Air Force Base back to District 2 as it had been in the 1990s. This forced a refinement in the adjoining districts, particularly District 4. This change dropped African American population in District 2 from 50 percent to 43.34 percent, but this is offset by the low turnout by Barksdale personnel and dependents in local elections, since they overwhelmingly vote absentee in the home jurisdictions.
“In 2000, it shifted to District 4 because the current development in north Bossier City didn't exist and would link link historical area in old bossier,” said Joiner.
- Plan 7 is a modified form of Plan 6, cleans up some minor boundary problems, puts more areas of common interest together, better defines the western limits of District 4, and puts the traditional neighborhoods of Districts 3 and 5 back in those districts. Each district is redrawn so that it contains approximately 12,000 residents.
Looking at each district in this plan, Scott Irwin's District 1 would move further south, pushing some of the Bellaire subdivision to District 3. Jeffery Darby's District 2 would regain Barksdale Air Force Base and lose portions of Old Bossier. Don Williams' District 3 would gain the front of Shady Grove closest to Barksdale Boulevard. David Jones' District 4 would lose Barksdale Air Force Base due to the growth in the northwest area. Larry Hanisee's District 5 would gain portions of Old Bossier from Hamilton Road west and gain a portion south of Shed Road.
The council will vote on a final plan before it's submitted to the Louisiana secretary of state's office and the U.S. Justice Department's civil rights division for review.
“All (justice department) has to do is look at 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010 (censuses). Bossier's population isn't the norm but they know that,” said Joiner.
All seven plans will be on display for public viewing in the lobby of City Hall through Oct. 15.