The unanimous vote to table the issue came during Monday night’s council meeting.
City spokeswoman Jennifer Bennett said the city would schedule a meeting with residents of Wards 2 and 3 in January. Ward 2, in the northeastern part of the city, is represented by Councilwoman Andrea Blustein, and Ward 3, in the north-central part of the city, by Teri Anulewicz.
“A group came in from an area of the city that is one neighborhood that has traditionally covered wards 2 and 3,” Bennett said. “With the changes proposed, they want to see it put back the way it was or looked at again. They had in the past indicated they wanted to be in one ward.”
The city council moved the next public hearing and vote to Feb. 4.
Redistricting is needed to balance the wards’ populations in a city that saw a 25 percent population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, and now has about 52,000, said City Administrator Eric Taylor.
“To keep with federal voting requirements, the city is to be as balanced as possible across all seven wards,” he said at the Dec. 3 City Council meeting at the first public hearing for the new redistricting maps.
The most dramatic shift is in Ward 7, represented by Ron Fennell, which grew to 12,000 residents but must be pared back to 5,600.
“I’m going to lose 5,000-plus residents,” Fennell said Dec. 3.
On Tuesday, Fennell said there is plenty of time to hear from homeowners and others.
“The next election is not until 2015 for the city council seats,” he said. “We’re just trying to be expeditious but deliberate in making sure we hear from everyone impacted under the new redistricting plan.”
In other action on Monday, the city council approved new noise regulations, made hospital authority board appointments, and approved a name change for an apartment complex at 1021 Church St. Riviera Apartments will become Pine Hills Apartments.
Council’s consent agenda included renewing a contract with the Georgia Municipal Association for 2013 worker’s compensation insurance coverage; approval to spend $17,120 in grant funds for an ultraviolet disinfection system for Wolfe Pool, from Aquatic Consulting and Equipment; and approval to use council chambers on Jan. 31 for the annual Laurel Hill Homeowners Association meeting.