WARREN -- Councilmen John Brown and Vince Flask probably didn't expect as much suspicion surfacing today as it did when they held a Town Hall-type meeting to further discuss redistricting the city's wards.
Both men said they only want to keep residents updated on the plan to even up the population in all seven wards that represent the city that keeps shrinking in the number of constituents.
One visitor insisted the meeting was violating the Sunshine Law, and others were concerned about how the redistricting will change the makeup of precincts and the locations where they vote.
Another councilman said the plan will never be in place before the fall general election.
"It's just bad timing," said 2nd Ward Councilman Al Novak. "We've lost 21 precincts in the last 20 years. Polling places have closed because a lot of schools have closed."
"I was a councilman-elect in 1991 the last time they did this. Our Planning Department did it and there was some gerrymandering. It affected a lot of people and people don't forget," Novak said. "We need people's input and meetings arranged in the day and night."
Brown, a 3rd Ward councilman, said that was the reason for airing the issue on a Saturday morning at the the Knights of Columbus Hall on East Market Street during a gathering of the Northeast Warren Neighborhood Association.
He also assured resident Clyde Wilson that the meeting was perfectly legal since no legislation was being discussed.
Read more about what was discussed in the Sunday Tribune Chronicle.