No November city elections for Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

No November city elections for Albany

October 16, 2003

Albany-- A Federal Judge orders the city to draw new voting districts. Judge Louis Sands issued a ruling in a suit brought against the city, challenging the old voting districts.

Judge Sands ordered new districts be drawn before the election is held. In his ruling, he orders the Albany elections for Mayor and three city commission posts to be enjoined, postponed and delayed, until the voting districts are redrawn in compliance with the one person, one vote rule.

The Judge ordered all interested parties to meet and start drawing the new map within ten days.

Incumbent Mayor Tommy Coleman said he thinks postponing the election is the best thing. "That's what we want for people to participate. That's give the best expression of what the people want out of the elected government. I believe that having all these elections together under a fair plan is the best thing for the city of Albany."

Challenger Dr. Willie Adams, reading the judge's order, said having to postpone the election shows how poor the current city leadership is. "This is an issue in my opinion that should have been taken care of a long ago with the correct leadership."

The third candidate for Mayor, Marcia Felts Wimberly, said because they do know when the election will be held, puts her campaign in limbo."We'll just continue to get our message out of change. Albany needs change, and change is coming, whether it's March, January, February, but change is coming."

The City's Voting Districts were drawn before the 1994 flood, and the population of Albany has shifted Northwest in great numbers.

Two redistricting maps have been drawn since 2000. One was turned down by the Justice Department. The other was sent back with questions, but then junked by the City Commission.

posted at 4:50PM by dave.miller@walb.com