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Neighborhood Worries About Representation

Updated: Thursday, July 10 2014, 10:02 AM CDT
SPRINGFIELD -- Residents in the Enos Park neighborhood are worried they'll be divided in the future.

At Tuesday's Committee of the Whole meeting, alderman Sam Cahnman said he wants to amend the already approved ward map to keep the neighborhood together.

Cahnman says the map aldermen passed in May by a vote of 9-1 actually divides the Enos Park neighborhood into two wards. A nearly four block section of the neighborhood between North Grand Avenue and Enterprise Street and 7th and 9th Streets changed from Cahnman's ward 5 to ward 3.

The head of the Enos Park Neighborhood Improvement Association, Michelle Higginbotham, says getting the neighborhood to stay together is important for representation. That's especially true, she said, since the neighborhood is a TIF district, which the association relies on for projects to fix up the neighborhood.

"So again, you could get in a scenario where you have two different aldermen representing the same TIF district if we were to go to the city council with a TIF request and one alderman supported it and one did not, I'm not quite sure how that would work," Higginbotham said.

But changing the map would cost, too. Sangamon County clerk Joe Aiello says just changing that four block area would mean a cost of about $4,000, which includes wasted man hours and throwing away $1,000 worth of maps already printed up.

Aldermen Frank Edwards and Joe McMenamin both oppose changing the map because of the work that's already been done.

The only alderman besides Cahnman whose ward this would directly affect is Ald Doris Turner's. She says she's okay with the switch, but is not actively trying to get other aldermen to support it.

Alderman Gail Simpson also opposed the change, saying during Tuesday's meeting that down the road, the neighborhood's reasons for changing the lines "might not be so pure." She did not expand on that statement and did not returned our phone calls today seeking clarification.Neighborhood Worries About Representation
Neighborhood Worries About Representation

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