A sticking point for the Republicans on the committee has been that under the B2 map boundaries, councilors Gary Medvigy, Karen Bowerman and Eileen Quiring O’Brien would now reside in the same district.
One issue noted by the county council was whether the committee should have received more than one map to consider during its first go-round. According to the county home rule charter, “the redistricting master shall draw a redistricting plan for the county and submit the plan to the committee for adoption.”
Council members Julie Olson, Temple Lentz and Medvigy voted in favor of sending the matter back to the committee, while Bowerman and Quiring O’Brien were opposed.
As the county had already missed the county charter’s Dec. 31 deadline, Bowerman and Quiring O’Brien both expressed concerns about adding additional delays to the process.
A lawsuit filed Tuesday by redistricting committee member Janet Landesberg was also a consideration in the council’s deliberations.
Landesberg, one of two Democrats appointed to the committee by the county council, is seeking to have a judge further define the county charter, reconvene the redistricting committee to complete their work and limit the county council’s changes to any map by no more than 2 percent — and only if it could muster a two-thirds majority vote to do so.
“I am very supportive of a redistricting map that is as close as possible to the decision by the voters in November, 2022, that also meets to a very large extent the criteria set forth in state law,” Kimsey said during the redistricting meeting.
Following the public hearing, the committee could adopt the map at its next meeting, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Feb. 16. The map then goes to the county council, which is allowed under the county charter to make changes to no more than 2 percent of any council district — if it can muster a two-thirds majority vote to do so.
Meeting details and agendas will be available on the county website at clark.wa.gov/councilors/redistricting-committee.