The Mahoning County Board of Elections is proposing a redistricting map of Youngstown that counts all of the city’s population, except those at a private prison on the East Side, and balances the number of people in each of the seven wards.
Mayor John A. McNally said he is “generally comfortable with this proposal. It does a very good job of equalizing the wards based on population.”
The board proposal doesn’t include prisoners at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, a private prison on the East Side in which about 75 percent of its population are illegal immigrants convicted of federal felonies. There were 2,071 prisoners there, according to the 2010 U.S. census.
However, the board proposal includes 541 inmates at the Ohio State Penitentiary, also on the East Side, with nearly all of its inmates being maximum-security prisoners not from Youngstown, and the 438 prisoners at the Mahoning County jail, located downtown.
The map keeps all seven council members in their current wards. Four of the seven cannot seek re-election next year.
It’s up to city council to approve the map — something its members have discussed for about a year with little progress and a lot of disputes.
“We’ll see how that plays itself out,” McNally said.
It isn’t being greeted with open arms by some members of council, who expressed various concerns about the map.
Read what those are in Wednesday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.