Issaquah remains in same County Council district under proposal

September 21, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 9:30 a.m. Sept. 21, 2011

Issaquah remains in the same King County Council district under a plan released Tuesday from the citizen panel responsible for redrawing the local political map.

The plan keeps Issaquah proper inside District 3 and rural areas south of city limits in District 9. The proposal mirrors the existing arrangement.

(The county is carved into nine districts, each represented by a single council member.)

In a unanimous decision Monday, King County Districting Committee members agreed to release a final proposal for public comment and review. The plan must be approved by Jan. 15 for the 2012 elections.

Under law, districts must be drawn as contiguous areas and to be as nearly equal in population as possible. The population data cannot be used to favor or disadvantage any racial group or political party.

The process to form a final map included public hearings throughout the county.

The proposal for redrawn King County Council districts keeps Issaquah in District 3. Contributed

Now, citizens can comment on the proposal at a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Council Chambers at the King County Courthouse, 516 Third Ave., Seattle. The hearing is the last step before the committee acts on the proposal.

“This redistricting plan was carefully drafted to balance population, meet legal requirements and incorporate the public input we received,” committee Chairman Terrence Carroll, a retired King County Superior Court judge, said in a statement. “I greatly appreciate the committee members’ hard work and their willingness to come together to find solutions that serve the people of King County.”

The committee released draft redistricting proposals in June that explored different approaches to meet redistricting requirements.

Members considered splitting Issaquah into districts 3 and 9 at Interstate 90 or, in another scenario, shifting Issaquah into suburban District 6 alongside Bellevue and Kirkland.

Instead, committee members opted for the status quo in the Issaquah area and shifted boundaries elsewhere.

Councilwoman Kathy Lambert represents Issaquah proper in District 3 and Councilman Reagan Dunn represents unincorporated areas south of city limits in District 9.

The council lineup could change soon after the 2012 elections. The race for state attorney general next year includes Councilman Bob Ferguson, a Democrat, and Dunn, a Republican.

In January, County Council members appointed a team of community leaders to update the map for representation in county government.

“Public testimony raised new ideas and helped us better understand communities of interest,” Carroll said. “Public input helped members come together around common principles and reach unanimous agreement on a proposed plan three months ahead of schedule.”

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