Old divisions emerged as the Salisbury City Council took up the Mayor’s proposal to create five council districts replacing the two districts currently in place.
Currently, the city has a plan to expand the minority-majority district from one to two seats while reducing District from four to three.
But the Mayor has never submitted that plan to the judge who would have to approve it under a consent decree hanging over the city.
Opponents say that would still leave a lopsided racial disparity.
Council member Shanie Shields, who represents only minority-majority district currently in place, says she supports the mayor’s plan for five individual districts.
The frustration spilled over when Council member Tim Spies suggested the smaller districts would allow them to be more easily controlled by special interests such as landlords.
He said he thought that this issue had already been resolved.
Council president Jake Day who appeared to be leaning in favor of the Mayor’s plan fired back saying his decisions have not been affected by his campaign contributors.
Spies later apologized.
Afterward Day said he saw the process moving forward:
There were concerns about getting more public input on the proposal as well as concerns about its costs.