Written by John Face
Photo from City of Albion web site
March 12, 2022
Early on in the precinct redistricting process city staff worked hard to come up with a plan to change the boundaries so that precincts that lost and gained citizens were equal in number doing minimal change. One of the early maps that was given to council included one that saw Linda LaNoue being moved out of the 5th precinct, effectively removing her from office in December if approved.
LaNoue went to city staff complaining of this map stating that it wasn’t fair and asked for the plan to be changed. Apparently, city staff immediately removed the proposed map thus safely keeping her in her current precinct. It was explained that this was an error as city staff was trying to keep all members of council in the precincts they were elected to serve.
On March 7 Albion City Council met to discuss proposed Precinct changes that have been worked on by city staff. What most people in Albion didn’t know was literally earlier in the day minutes before the deadline to add items to the agenda Council members Marcola Lawler and Lenn Reid (follow link to story) submitted “their” map (located below) to be looked at. This maps author is publicly unknown, but we know that some “expert” was brought in to discuss this new map with apparently little to no experience at following the rules and general practices of using Census information.
To shorten this up, the new map intentionally removed Council member Shane Williamson from precinct 6 and place his home in precinct 5. This action would remove him from office after the November elections on December 1st, when office changes happen. Lawler and Reid intentionally went after Williamson in the most brazen act of gerrymandering ever seen in Albion before. They play the innocent game in meetings as that this map is better than options that city staff put together, you know, the maps that kept LaNoue in her precinct.
Now we go back to LaNoue with this reminder. This member of council had the nerve to vote for and help approve the new last second map of Lawler and Reid. The same member (LaNoue) that had city staff remove from consideration a map that would do the same to her stating it was “unfair”. LaNoue being a hypocrite and self-serving is a character flaw that should concern her voters.
This is as bad as Council member Nora Jackson getting upset because City Watch reported her attempt to take City tax money to benefit her non-profit. City Watch reported on this (click for link to story)
City Watch will be following up in the coming days on this and other news.