"What you're dealing with are people in the areas that they live in," Davis said. "People feel very pleased that they are repped by someone who lives in their ward."
Redistricting Committee Chairman Brent Burton said ward changes must be contiguous with the city's bridges.
"[Wards] 1, 3 and 5 were ones that decreased in population," Burton said. "South Hills was where population increased, so it made it easier to cross the river [at Patrick Street]."
Davis said crossing the Kanawha River is "a big jump, but in order for the numbers to work with the Census you have to balance."
The committee will again address the issue at Wednesday evening's meeting, Burton said.
A 20-ward solution is expected to be presented as an alternative to stretching a ward across the river, but there are questions about the legality of eliminating a ward, Burton said.
"The state code is silent when it comes to decreasing your wards," he said.
While committee members initially felt pressed to make a decision regarding redistricting, Burton said it will only need to be done in time for the 2015 municipal election.
"We might have time to address it when the legislative body is in session this winter," Burton said. "That may be an option to see if they could change the state code to put something in there where we would be allowed to decrease our wards."
The city of Charleston was last redistricted in 2006 when it was found that wards changed in 2002 were not in compliance with federal guidelines.
The Committee on Redistricting will meet Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.Reach Rachel Molenda at rachel.mole...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.