The Smyrna City Council voted Monday to approve new boundaries of its seven wards, which were redrawn based on population changes in the 2020 census.
The vote was the first of two approvals needed before the maps are official. The final vote will take place during the council’s next meeting on Monday, October 3. None of the races on the November ballot will be affected by the changes.
Each district is required to have an equal distribution of population.
Ward 3, which includes the Village Green, the library and many shops and restaurants, will be impacted the most by the changes. The district was found to be too populous compared to the other wards, and will lose some neighborhoods to surrounding wards.
“I hated to lose some of the communities that I’ve proudly represented for four years, but I would like all the wards to be equal, and the map we passed tonight does exactly that,” said Travis Lindley, the Ward 3 councilman.
One of those communities is Rose Garden Hills, a single-family residential neighborhood that was previously split between Ward 3 and Ward 2. Under the new map, all of Rose Garden Hills will be in Ward 2.
Rose Garden Hills resident Triana Arnold James praised councilman Lindley but welcomed her neighborhood’s unity under a single ward.
“Councilman Travis Lindley has done an outstanding job with ensuring that the issues facing the citizens are resolved,” Arnold James wrote in a message. “[H]owever, to combine the neighborhood within one District Ward will be a win and create a united Ward that will ensure that all residents will have an equal voice.”
The city hired B. Parker Barry, an attorney at Butler Snow Law Firm in Mississippi, to assist in the redistricting efforts.
“It was a benefit having somebody from outside the community looking at the census data and making sure we’re complying with the voting directory,” said Ward 6 Councilman Tim Gould.