City Secretary Imelda Bernardo said voters will be able to make suggestions on possible changes to the one plan that has been prepared.
Robert Bass of the Austin law firm, Allison, Bass & Associates, L.L.P., has shown council members a map with recommended changes.
The city is required to approve a new ward map because of population changes within the city in the last decade.
The new lines are based on the results of the 2010 Census.
Changes in ward lines are minimal, Bass told the council at its Jan. 24 meeting. For that reason, no changes in the prepared map may be needed.
However, Bass said his firm does not want to separate neighborhoods from wards in which they might be better suited and put them into wards that may not represent those areas as well.
The attorney said Beeville voters and council members are best informed to make those decisions.
If changes are recommended in the proposed plan, Bernardo said the attorney could return to Beeville with several other proposals.
The council members would then be asked to approve the plan they believe best serves city voters.
“As far as balance goes, this plan works,” Bass told council members. He said his staff worked to retain the ethnic makeup of each ward while re-arranging the population percentages to comply with federal law concerning voting districts within the community.
Bass said it takes about 60 days for a new voting district plan to be pre-cleared by the U.S. Justice Department. The city must have its new ward lines pre-approved by the May 12 City Council elections.
Those elections will be held in Wards 2, 3 and 4.
Currently, Mayor Pro Tem John Govella Fulghum is the councilman in Ward 2, while Mayor Santiago “Jimbo” Martinez represents Ward 3, and Councilman David Carabajal represents Ward 4.
Council members are expected to call the elections as early as this month.
Bernardo said her office plans to schedule the elections for May 12, unless there is some delay in the redistricting process.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.