Issaquah remains in same County Council district under proposal
September 27, 2011
By Warren Kagarise
Issaquah remains in the same King County Council district under a plan released Sept. 27 from the citizen panel responsible for redrawing the local political map.
The proposal, like the existing arrangement, keeps Issaquah proper inside District 3 and most rural areas south of city limits in District 9. The plan also shifts some areas southeast of Issaquah from District 9 into District 3.
(The county is carved into nine districts, each represented by a single council member.)
In a unanimous decision Sept. 26, 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 the law, districts must be drawn as contiguous areas and be as nearly equal in population as possible. The population data cannot be used to favor or disadvantage any racial group or political party.
“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.”
Citizens can comment on the proposal at a public hearing Nov. 1. The committee gathered input at a series of public meetings before releasing the proposal. The next hearing is the last step before the committee acts on the proposed map.
“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.”
Councilwoman Kathy Lambert represents Issaquah proper in District 3 and Councilman Reagan Dunn represents unincorporated areas south of city limits in District 9.
Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger said the relationship between city officials and Lambert is productive.
“She is always very good about contacting the city if she spots something that she thinks is going to have an effect on us,” Frisinger said. “So, for instance, if there’s an annexation issue in, say, Sammamish, she will ask if there is something she should know about because it may have an effect on Issaquah.”
King County Districting Committee public hearing
In January, County Council members appointed a team of community leaders to update the map for representation in county government.
The redistricting committee released draft redistricting proposals in June. 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.
In addition to district boundaries, 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.
Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.