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Census Numbers Cause City to Increase Council Seats

February 16, 2011

02/17/11 The number of seats on the Plymouth Common Council will have to be increased by the year 2016.  Indiana ordinances require that cities over 10,000 in population must have a Council of seven members as opposed to the five members that make up the Council currently. The final census tally lists Plymouth as having a population of 10,033.

According to City Attorney Nelson Chipman, the seven seats can be formed by having four districts and three members at-large or changing to five districts with two at-large seats. Chipmn said the Common Council members will have to adopt an ordinance with their preference in the year 2015 and then the seats would become effective in 2016.

Tom Bredenweg, Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, said Tuesday that Plymouth will have to arrange for re-districting in 2012. Chipman confirmed that opinion saying that even if the council retains four districts, they would have to be “tweaked” since the population has increased. Re-districting is not allowed during an election year and is done in the second year after the census is taken.

Carol Anders Correspondent

3 Responses to “ Census Numbers Cause City to Increase Council Seats ”

  1. CommonCents on February 17, 2011 at 6:26 am

    You have my support on that suggestion!

  2. ryanripley on February 16, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Not sure anyone really has a choice in the matter. As the article discusses, the law is pretty clear: Once you go over 10,000 residents, 2 more seat are required.

    Perhaps the city will consider going back to a part-time city attorney like the rest of Marshall County in order to pay for the 2 new council positions. This seems like an obvious way to cover the additional costs without burdening the tax-payers.

  3. CommonCents on February 16, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Why can’t the City write an ordinance stating it’s stupid to add two more Council members for 33 more people? Seems to me to be another waste of tax money to hire two more Council members. If they want to split the money currently used to pay five members to pay seven, then fine…knock yourself out. Otherwise, I’d like to think Mr. Chipman can use his legal skills to figure a way out of this one.