Tuesday, May 10, 2011
REDISTRICTING BOARD PICKS PROPOSED NEW COMMISSIONER BOUNDARIES
The Clatsop County Redistricting Board has settled on proposed new boundaries for the County Board of Commissioners districts.
At a meeting Monday the 10-member board chose a boundary scenario that makes relatively few changes to the existing commissioner districts.
The plan next goes to the board of commissioners for review and final adoption. The board must adopt new boundaries by Sept. 13.
Legislative boundaries must be redrawn every 10 years to account for shifts in population revealed in the U.S. Census. The Clatsop County Clerk’s Office convened the Redistricting Board to review the data from the 2010 Census and agree on new boundaries.
From input from the panel, county staff developed six different boundary scenarios. On Monday the board voted 8-2 to select Scenario D, which shifts a handful of voter precincts between districts to maintain similar population totals, but largely leaves the existing districts in their current configuration.
“The process went smoothly,” County Clerk Cathie Garber said. “The board was very forward-thinking, trying to do what’s best for Clatsop County now and in the future.”
The board made one change to Scenario D, shifting the “Cove” area of south Seaside from District 5 to District 2.
To see a map of Scenario D, go to “Redistricting process” at the Clatsop County website, http://www.co.clatsop.or.us/. Note that the map does not show the shift of the Seaside area.
The Redistricting Board was charged with drawing boundaries that met the following criteria:
· Be contiguous
· Be of equal population
· Utilize existing geographical or political boundaries
· Not divide communities of common interest
· Be connected by transportation links
The new boundaries also had to reflect a change in the method of counting the population. The current districts are based on the number of registered voters, while the new districts are to be based on total population. For that reason, the new proposed boundaries follow census blocks, while the current boundaries are based on voter precincts.
As a result, some areas – in Astoria, Seaside, Warrenton and the Olney area – have been shifted to another district under the board’s preferred Scenario D.
Community Relations Coordinator