Pasco council may rethink district lines

By Michelle Dupler, Tri-City HeraldFebruary 17, 2013 

PASCO -- Continued growth in Pasco is prompting the city council to once again look at redrawing council districts before some members are up for election in November.

The city has five council districts, each with one elected council member. Two additional council members are elected at-large and serve the entire city.

But one option under consideration could reduce the number of districts to three, with two council members from each district and one at-large position, according to a staff report from Deputy City Manager Stan Strebel.

The council will have a public hearing at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 to hear what citizens have to say about how the boundaries are drawn.

The five-district system of representation dates back to 1971, and redistricting happened every 10 years when new Census population numbers were released, the report said.

But the district boundaries have been redrawn every two years during the past decade -- a result of the city's population boom, the report said. The city had to ensure there was no more than a 10 percent variance in population from one district to the next. Districts are supposed to be as equal in population as possible.

Currently, population levels range from a high of 13,934 people in District 4 to a low of 11,464 people in District 3. If the city keeps five districts, each should have a population of 12,181 to 13,399 to maintain no more than 10 percent difference. A three-district system would set population thresholds of 20,835 to 22,918.

The report said new boundaries need to be drawn before May 13, when candidates for city council can file to be on the ballot in this year's election.

Seats up for election this year include District 2, represented by Mike Garrison; District 4, represented by Bob Hoffmann; and Tom Larsen's at-large position.

Population flux makes it increasingly difficult to redraw district boundaries without displacing existing council members, the report said, but three larger districts would be more flexible and better accommodate growth.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service