Redistricting Summary

Process Summary

The Burlington City Council began the process of redistricting with the formation of a Redistricting Committee, which was composed of 4 City Councilors and the Mayor. This committee met from August 27, 2012 through January 8, 2013, at which date it recommended that the City Council expand the committee's membership to include citizen members. The Council expanded the committee to 14 members, two from each existing ward, plus one alternate per ward.

The reconstituted Redistricting Committee met from April 8, 2013 through June 4, 2013, at which date it deadlocked attempting to choose one plan out of three finalists to recommend to the City Council. The committee then voted to send all three finalists to the Council for their consideration. The three final plans were:

  • 4 Wards with 12 Councilors (3 per Ward)
  • 6 Wards with 13 Councilors (2 per Ward with a single New North End Ward with 3 Councilors)
  • 8 Wards with 16 Councilors (2 per Ward)
     

The Council deliberated extensively, focusing on 8 Ward 4 District hybrid configurations, where the 8 wards were paired into 4 districts. Each ward and each district would elect a single City Councilor each, resulting in an 12 member Council. The 8-Ward 4-District plan chosen to put before the voters presented relatively little change in current ward boundaries, except for the addition of Ward 8.

This plan was approved by the voters on March 4, 2014, with 62% in favor, passing in all 7 wards. The State legislature made a few technical changes but the fundamentals of the plan were unaltered. Governor Schumlin signed the City's Charter changes into law on May 14, 2014, and the new ward plan went into effect on Town Meeting Day, March 3, 2015. The full transition to this plan will be complete in 2018.

Summary of Changes to the Burlington City Charter from Ward Redistricting

Note: This summary does not include technical changes to the Charter. The full text of Charter changes is in the City of Burlington Municipal Charter The changes below will go into effect for the election of March 3, 2015.

WARDS AND DISTRICTS

The City will be divided into eight (8) Wards, each with approximately equal population, named 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. See Ward and District Map for their definition. Currently there are 7 wards.

The eight Wards will be paired into four (4) Districts. Each District is the combination of two Wards. The East District will be the combination of Wards 1 and 8, the Central District will be Wards 2 and 3, the South District will be Wards 5 and 6, and the North District will be composed of Wards 4 and 7.

CITY COUNCIL

The City Council will have twelve (12) members. Currently there are 14 City Councilors, two each elected from the seven wards in alternating years.

Each of the 8 wards will elect one (1) City Councilor, and each of the 4 districts will elect one City Councilor.

When the Transition is complete in 2018, all councilors will have two (2) years terms, the same as currently in place.

When the Transition is complete in 2018, all ward-based councilors and district-based councilors will be elected in alternating years.

CITY COUNCIL TRANSITION

The City Charter changes were approved by the voters on March 4, 2014, and the first election held under the revised Charter will be in March 3, 2015.

To set up the election of ward-based and district-based councilors on alternating years, there will be the following transition:

  1. The terms of the seven (7) city councilors elected in March 2013 shall remain in effect until the term of the new councilors begin the first Monday of April 2015.
     
  2. The terms the seven (7) city councilors elected in March 2014 shall remain in effect until the term of the new councilors begin the first Monday of April 2015.
     
  3. In March 2015 (revised Charter in effect), the four (4) District-based councilors will be elected to two (2) years terms.
     
  4. In March 2015, the eight (8) Ward-based councilors will be elected to three (3) year terms.
     
  5. In March 2017, the four (4) District-based councilors will be elected to a two (2) year term and biennially thereafter.
     
  6. In March 2018, eight (8) Ward-based councilors will be elected to a two (2) year term and biennially thereafter.
     

MAYOR

The Mayor will continue to serve a three (3) year term.

SCHOOL COMMISSIONERS

The composition, election, and transition of the School Board commissioners will match that of the City Council.

WARD OFFICERS

Elections will continue to be conducted in the City’s wards, with one (1) clerk and three (3) inspectors of election for each ward.

Ward clerks will continue to serve two (2) year terms, and inspectors will continue to serve three (3) year terms.

WARD OFFICER TRANSITION

Ward officers for the existing seven (7) wards will serve as ward officers for the March 2015 election.

Ward officers for Ward 8 will be appointed by the Board of Civil Authority for March 2015 election only. (The Board of Civil Authority is composed of the City Council and the Mayor.)

  1. The terms of ward officers elected prior to March 2015 shall remain in effect until the term of the new councilors begin the first Monday of April 2015.
     
  2. New ward officers will be elected in March 2015 with terms to begin in April 2015 as follows:
    1. One (1) ward clerk will be elected from each of the eight (8) wards to two (2) year terms.
    2. Three ward inspectors will be elected from each of the eight (8) wards, with the following terms:
      1. One (1) with a one (1) year term ending in March 2016.
      2. One (1) with a two (2) year term ending in March 2017.
      3. One (1) with a three (3) year term ending in March 2018.
    3. When the above inspector terms end, subsequently elected ward inspectors will be elected to three (3) year terms.
       
  3. In March 2017, all ward clerks will be elected to two (2) years terms.
     
  4. In March 2018, all ward inspectors will be elected the three (3) year terms; one (1) elected per year per ward.
     

BOARD OF REGISTRATION OF VOTERS

The Board of Registration of Voters will increase from nine (9) to ten (10) members. Members are appointed by the City Council with Mayor presiding.