Despite a "few minor issues," Naperville City Council members generally gave the proposed map of voting districts a thumbs-up and are prepared to deliver it to the public.
In mid-January, an interactive map that allows residents to ask questions and leave feedback will be placed online. City Manager Doug Krieger said he will collect that information monthly and distribute it to staff members.
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A committee of key staff people used 2010 census results and a special geography software to construct the map of the five proposed compact and contiguous districts, that voters backed during the November 2010 election.
"I congratulate the staff. I think they did an excellent job using great criteria," said Councilman Kenn Miller. "There can be some differences of opinion but I look forward to the public feedback."
The northern and western boundaries of proposed District 1 are formed by the city limits. The southern boundary extends to 75th Street and the eastern boundary generally follows Rickert Drive, Plainfield/Naperville Road, and the DuPage River.
Proposed District 2 extends from 75th Street to the northern city limits. Generally the eastern boundary is Washington Street to Hillside Road and the western boundary is formed by Plainfield/Naperville Road and the DuPage River.
The northern boundary of District 3 is formed by segments of Chicago Avenue, Prairie Avenue and Hillside Road. The western boundary runs primarily along Washington Street. The eastern and southern boundaries are formed by the city limits.
The proposed fourth, and largest, district would extend between Washington Street and Route 59, and surrounds significant portions of the Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve. The southern boundary of the district generally follows 95th street to the city limits and the northern boundary is defined by 75th Street.
The fifth and smallest district would encompass the southernmost portions of the city. Most of the property in this district is south of 95th Street between the DuPage River and the western city limits.
"I thought (staff) did an outstanding job on this. It wasn't anything like I expected. After I saw it, I was like, 'Wow,'" said Councilman Paul Hinterlong. " I didn't realize how big these areas would be so I shocked myself with how they turned out and how equal they are."
Councilman Bob Fieseler also pointed out several things he liked about the map, including how the proposed boundaries follow natural boundaries along te DuPage River and 75th Street.
Jane Barnes, president of the League of Women Voters of Naperville, also appreciated the first effort and is anxious for the public portion of the debate to begin.
"There may be no single decision you've had to make that goes so directly to the heart of representative government and the belief the people, all of the people, can and will be heard," she said.
the council also agreed to host a citywide kickoff meeting and a series of meetings in each of the proposed districts, at a later date.