nwnews-now : local news in your e-mail box as it happens

Local News

Too many people for Miller, Derdowski

King County redistricting by Jeff Switzer
   With the ever-increasing growth in King County, the County Charter says it's time again for the redrawing of the King County Council district lines.
   Preliminary maps show potential for significant changes on the horizon for rural council districts 3, 9, and 12. Woodinville, Bothell, and Duvall are in District 3.
   Based on 1995 population estimates, the goal is to have each County Councilmember representing 124,123 constituents.
   "We're moving forward and are attentive to the issues at hand," said Dr. Ernest Morris, Districting Committee chair.
   Morris said the committee will be drawing the lines at its May 9 meeting, at which point they'll decide if an additional public meeting is necessary. The deadline for submitting the new plan is May 15. It becomes effective once it's turned in to the clerk of the council.
   Population estimates from 1995 show that King County Councilmember Louise Miller's District 3--which includes Bothell, Woodinville, Skykomish, Redmond, Duvall, Carnation, and wide expanses of unincorporated land--has approximately 127,947 residents. This means 3,825 people will have to be shifted into another district.
   Similarly, Brian Derdowski's District 12, which includes Issaquah, Newport Hills, Snoqualmie, Fall City, and North Bend, shows current population at 132,441--8,319 more people than the goal.
   Conversely, Maggi Fimia's District 1 has 119,925 people in it. The figure indicates 4,198 people may be added to her district, most likely from District 3 by way of the City of Bothell. Districts 2 and 4 (North Seattle) are contiguous to Fimia's district and also need additional constituents, 4,718 and 3,325 respectively, to bring them up to the goal level.
   The result of the population needs of the Metropolitan districts will most likely mean the densely-drawn Seattle districts will be shifting towards the east, possibly consuming border cities like Bothell, Woodinville, and Redmond.
   The 1996 Districting Committee, composed of two Republicans and two Democrats with a non-partisan chairperson, will be meeting again on May 9, from 7:30-9 a.m. in the Southwest Conference Room, King County Courthouse, 516 Third Avenue, Seattle. A public hearing on the preliminary numbers will be held May 6, 7 - 9 p.m. in room 402 at the courthouse.