None of the suggested changes to Pasco City Council districts would move current council members out of their districts.
But that could change after 2010 census data is released.
In the meantime, the city is proposing what City Manager Gary Crutchfield describes as minimal changes to the five city council district boundaries before the 2011 city council election.
The city council will hold a public hearing on the proposal at 7 p.m. today at city hall, 525 N. Third Ave.
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The suggestions tweak district boundaries by moving several precincts so they are roughly equal in population, Crutchfield said. State law requires that the population of districts must be within 10 percent of each other.
Pasco has five council members assigned to districts and two members are elected at-large. The five district council members are voted on only by people living in their districts in the primary election but by the whole city in the general election.
Population growth in the plateau area around Road 68 bumped up the population in districts 4 and 5, which includes west Pasco, Crutchfield said.
And District 1, which includes all of the city east of Oregon Avenue and east of 10th Avenue and south of Lewis Street, has 40 percent more of the population than the least populated district, District 2, which includes south of Lewis Street between Road 44 and 10th Avenue.
Pasco has modified the districts every two years since 2002 because of the city's rapid growth, Crutchfield said.
The city can't split voter precincts between council districts, but has to use the actual population and not the registered voter population that determines voter precincts, when balancing the council districts.
That's part of what makes balancing Pasco's population in the districts difficult, Crutchfield said. In some places, the ratio of voters to actual population is higher than in others.
But this time, the city has some more puzzle pieces to help balance districts.
Franklin County recently divided eight voter precincts to move the total precincts in the city up to 60 after Pasco requested more precincts to make balancing population in council districts easier.
Major changes might be made to the council districts after 2010 census data is released, Crutchfield said.
That could happen in 2011 or 2012.
The city could decrease the number of council districts and entirely change the districts regardless of where current council members live, he said.
The U.S. Census has underestimated Pasco's population in the past, Crutchfield said.
He expects the 2010 census will correct those estimates and bring Pasco closer to a population of 60,000 rather than 57,000.
Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; firstname.lastname@example.org