New park district lines leave candidate out

Tracy Nordstrom, an East Calhou resident who narrowly lost to Bob Fine for the 6th Park

District seat in 2001, has been redistricted into the 4th Park District.

Nordstrom lost 8,810 votes to 8,322 votes, or 51 percent to 48 percent.

"I think it is pretty obvious," she said. "I think it is blatant gerrymandering. This is a tidy way of him not having to face me again."

The Park Board appointees to the redistricting commission were former Park Board member and Fine supporter Scott Neiman and former City Councilmember Tony Scallon.

East Calhoun is the only neighborhood south of Lake Street and west of I-35W left out of the 6th District.

"People could look at it a lot of different ways," Neiman said, adding he did not talk to Fine about the matter. "You have to draw the line somewhere."

"I didn’t look at Park Board candidates when I drew the line," Scallon told the Park Board.

The new boundaries move West Calhoun from the 4th Park District to the 6th Park District and move East Calhoun from the 6th District to the 4th District. The CARAG neighborhood — once divided between the 4th and 6th districts — is now completely in the 6th District.

Neiman defended the new lines. CARAG is no longer split and West Calhoun is a better fit in the 6th District, having more in common with Linden Hills and the 13th Ward, he said. Adding East Calhoun would have put too may people in the district, he said.

Fine said he had no say in the matter. He thought the East Calhoun neighborhood fit well with the East Isles neighborhood, which are both now in the 4th Park District.

"It doesn’t prevent her from running in another district," he said of Nordstrom.