Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

District 6 May Keep Beauclerc Neighborhoods Don't Want to Split

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

District 6 May Keep Beauclerc Neighborhoods Don't Want to Split

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Scanlan, Times-Union staff writer

Mandarin and Beauclerc residents say Beauclerc is part of Mandarin and should not be moved into City Councilman Matt Carlucci's Southside district, as is suggested in a proposed council redistricting plan.

So after they suggested such at community meetings July 25 at Mandarin Middle School and Thursday at the Mandarin Community Club, the city's redistricting consultant developed an alternative that puts Beauclerc back into District 6 and gives District 5 a chunk between Sunbeam and Hartley roads.

The main recipient of the plea was Councilwoman Mary Ann Southwell, who was repeatedly told that Beauclerc, Scott Mill and Forest Circle's 4,666 residents belong in her district.

"Why would you want to split the neighborhood?" asked resident Pat Corrado.

"Why not lose part of Sunbeam or another area on the outer side?" Beth Meyer asked. "Scott Mill Road links Beauclerc to Mandarin."

Southwell seemed reluctant to support the proposal, saying she would look at it. But after the Thursday meeting, she said "it's close" and urged Beauclerc residents to call her with their reaction.

"With just a little bit of tweaking, it is doable," she said. "I think that would be very nice, but I would like to make sure that there are no problems with that."

Her predecessor, Beauclerc resident and current state Rep. Dick Kravitz, approves of the swap.

"It's logical and follows the same pattern we did with the last reapportionment," he said. "It doesn't break up any neighborhoods."

U.S. Census reports show Jacksonville grew 15.7 percent between 1990 and 2000 to 778,879, with 58,355 in District 6 alone. Federal law says the city must redraw its 14 City Council districts every 10 years, making each as close to a 14-way split of 55,634 as possible. To do that, a special City Council committee came up with a plan that had the Beauclerc and Scott Mill neighborhoods in a Riverside-Avondale-Ortega district on the Westside. …

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