Gretna — The Gretna City Council will decide on the city’s new council boundaries at a meeting Wednesday night in an effort to beat a Justice Department deadline for submitting a plan.
Council members are considering three plans for the city’s new council districts in the wake of the annexation of the Timberlane subdivision in 2008 and a lawsuit that followed. The council has two plans developed by its own demographer and one plan developed by an independent demographer.
Gretna was required to redraw its council districts in a settlement with the residents who filed the lawsuit that claimed the annexation unfairly diluted the voting power of the city’s black residents. Leo Jones, Charles Mar and Rudy Smith were represented by attorney Ronald Wilson.
As part of the settlement, the plaintiffs were supposed to submit their own plan for the new council districts, but that did not occur. Wilson cited the cost of hiring a demographer and the city’s ultimate power to choose a plan as reasons why he did not submit a proposal.
Gretna Mayor Ronnie Harris has said he’s concerned about the plaintiffs’ decision but the city must move forward if it wants to have a plan approved in time for its April elections.
The meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Gretna City Hall.