Cleveland will lose two city council seats due to declining population
6:27 AM, Dec 31, 2012
12:01 PM, Dec 31, 2012
CLEVELAND - The city of Cleveland is losing population, and as a result its city council is going to shrink.
The Plain Dealer newspaper reported Monday that the 19-member city council will lose two more seats in 2013 when the panel redraws the wards.
Since council maps were last drawn in 2009, Cleveland's population has shrunk by more than 30,000 people to about 396,000, according to U.S. census figures. Most of that population loss occurred in the city's northeast quadrant.
But council members say that the east side, home to several of the city's predominantly black neighborhoods, will lose only one ward in the redistricting. That will preserve council representation for the black community.
The council, which redraws the lines every decade following the census, must do so by April 1 or cede the authority to Mayor Frank Jackson, who served on the council before his election as mayor.
Cleveland had 33 council members until 1981, when the charter was amended by a popular vote, shrinking the council to 21 wards, each with roughly equal population.
In 2008, voters approved another charter change requiring that the number of council seats correlate to population. Ward boundaries were redrawn the following year.