News

County districts to be adjusted

by AMANDA WINTERS
Sequim Gazette

The precincts comprising Clallam County commissioners’ districts will be strategically shuffled to meet state districting requirements.

 

The Clallam County Districting Commission reviewed five possible adjustments to the county’s districts Thursday, May 12, to lessen the current population disparity. Right now District 1, which covers the east end of the county, is 6.13 percent larger than District 3 on the west end.

 

According to state requirements, the districts must have no more than 5 percent difference in population. The boundaries are reviewed every 10 years and adjusted if necessary.

 

While the districts vote for their respective commissioner seat in the primary election, the general election for county commissioner is countywide.

 

Districting Master Don Corson said the charter requirements for redistricting are to have approximately equal population, generally north-south boundaries, be geographically compact and continuous and be comprised of whole voting precincts.

 

Following those requirements Corson and co-Districting Master Gene Unger recommended a proposal to shift the Klahhane and Robin Hill precincts from the Sequim district to District 2; Port Angeles Precinct 14 from the west end district to District 2; and three Port Angeles precincts, 17, 20 and 25, to the west end district. This would result in a 2.5 percent difference in population, with District 1 remaining the most populous.

 

The recommendation does not include public input, which will be sought at public hearings scheduled for later this month.

 

Corson said the recommended option is “nice and clean” and best meets all the redistricting requirements.

 

Since population in Sequim has grown so much over the past decade, it made sense to shift some of its precincts to the west so Port Angeles could shift some to the west end, Unger said.Commission Chairman John Marrs said the commission should have a good representation to present to the public by June 10.

 

The commission set public hearings for June 14 in Forks at the city council chambers, June 15 in Sequim at a location to be determined and June 16 in Port Angeles at the Clallam County commissioners’ board room inside the courthouse building.

Reach Amanda Winters at awinters@sequimgazette.com.

 

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