Akron city council got a first look Monday at a redistricting plan that would reshape its council wards.
The plan comes out of research by Triad Research of Cleveland, and is needed to adjust ward boundaries after population shifts.
Council president Marco Sommerville says the goal was to bring neighborhoods together.
"You know, we tried to put everything back the way that means that all the neighborhoods are together," Sommerville tells AkronNewsNow.com, "they all have something in relationship, and all neighborhoods can be represented effectively."
That was good news to John Bryson. The plan would bring nearly all of Highland Square and West Hill into Ward 1, after years of split representation among as many as five wards.
Bryson says as a board member of West Hill Neighborhood Organization, it's hard to get help with serious problems when there's not just one council person to turn to.
"And trying to get those things addressed, when we have essentially half of the council to convince in order to get something," Bryson tells AkronNewsNow.com. "You'd think having four to five members on your side would be an asset, but it just dilutes our political impact."
Not happy, but not surprised, was council member Bruce Kilby. He says the plan squeezes him into the same ward as another incumbent council member, Jim Hurley, and calls that a poltical move.
"They're using this, their 'neighborhood consolidation', as a reason to do this," Kilby says. "Well, 10 years ago they tore the whole ward up for political reasons, now they want to put it back together."
Some council members wanted alternatives. The plan will be considered at a future council meeting.
If approved, it would take effect with the municipal primary election in September 2013.