Judge approves new County Council districts

County Council boundaries are fair, according to Stenger

By Kari Williams

A County Council redistricting map was approved by a federal judge last week.

The issue went to U.S. Magistrate Judge Terry I. Adelman after the St. Louis County Reapportionment Commission failed to reach an agreement on new County Council boundaries based upon results of the 2010 U.S. Census.

Three Democratic County Council members — Mike O’Mara of Florissant, who represents the 4th District; Pat Dolan of Richmond Heights, who represents the 5th District; and Steve Stenger of Affton, who represents the 6th District — along with several citizens — filed the federal lawsuit after the bipartisan 14-member Reapportionment Commission did not reach a consensus on new boundaries.

The council Democrats and citizens were represented by attorney Jane Dueker, Stenger told the Call.

David Kimball, a University of Missouri-St. Louis political science professor, served as an expert and created a redistricting map focusing on population rather than politics, Stenger said.

Kimball’s map was accepted by Adelman, who wrote in his ruling, “… The evidence reveals that the map was not drawn with Republican or Democrat politics in mind. The expert unequivocally testified that he did not consider politics either before or after drawing the map …”

The ruling also stated, “… The map is equal in population, compact, contiguous, protects minority rights and is not the product of politics …”

The new County Council boundaries are fair and have not changed much at all, Stenger said.

He noted the 6th District lost a couple of precincts in Tesson Ferry Township and a couple in Concord Township.

“Tesson is probably a more Republican area, and Concord is usually more Democrat. It’s pretty even as far as it goes,” Stenger said.