By Ray King

A special called meeting of the Pine Bluff City Council Tuesday repealed an ordinance adopted last week that laid out new ward boundaries that because necessary because of the loss of population reflected by the 2020 census.

Seven of the eight council members voted either in person or on zoom for the ordinance which was sponsored by Council Member Glen Brown Sr.

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Before the vote, Mayor Shirley Washington made several comments, beginning by saying she had a girlfriend that she relies heavily on to tell the truth, then said she wanted the council to listen while she asked that girlfriend a question.

The Mayor said she felt if she were doing this, it would be “treading on very dangerous territory” because of perceived gerrymandering.

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At the meeting last week, Brown complained that the newly drawn lines between Ward 3, which he represents, and Ward 4 resulted in the loss of an area where he grew up and where his friends and family live.

Washington reminded Brown of that in this exchange.

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With the previous ordinance repealed, a new map will have to be created to make the changes desired and at a public hearing and more council meetings will have to take place. The new map will also have to be sent to the Jefferson County Clerk and Election Commission, and published in the newspaper for 30 days, and all of that must be finished by the last day of January.