Thursday, August 30, 2012

Council district maps to bring political consequences

Posted By on Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 2:23 PM

City Council
  • Colorado Springs City Council

The City Clerk will announce new City Council districts on the 10th of September, and the public will be given a chance to comment on them Oct. 13.

A final "redistricting report" will be made a week after the November election, and then in April, six Council seats, a majority, will be up for grabs. Because of the recent change of governance, four Councilors elected only two years ago will need to run again or forfeit their seat: district representatives Lisa Czelatdko and Angela Dougan, as well as at-large Councilors Brandy Williams and Tim Leigh. Bernie Herpin, elected in 2009, will have to run again, too. Council President Scott Hente is term-limited, and will relinquish his seat.

The dividing up of the new districts is of high political importance. Depending upon where lines are drawn, current representatives could be drawn out of their current districts or pitted against another current Councilor.

Districts may also benefit the people whom Mayor Steve Bach admits he has "encouraged" to run. In fact, rumors have long swirled that the mayor has a hand-selected slate of candidates and huge war chest to fund their campaign. (With an agreeable Council, the mayor would be able to realize more of his goals.)

Read on to learn more:

City Clerk announces redistricting timeline

The City of Colorado Springs City Charter and City Code require that the City Clerk redistrict City Council districts every four years. Following is the timeline for the 2012 redistricting process pursuant to section 2-10(b) of the Charter and Sections 5.1.401, 5.1.402 and 5.1.403 of the City Code. City Code Sections 5.1.401, 5.1.402 and 5.1.403 succinctly outline the process for the City Clerk to follow. Council themselves passed these Code Sections in 2001 and created a process that deliberately does not include Council involvement in the redistricting.

Date Action

9/10 (Informal Council Meeting) Listen to Council Members' thoughts on the current
district map

9/24 (Morning of) Publicly release Preliminary 2012 Redistricting Map

10/13 (Saturday Morning) Hold Public Hearing on Preliminary 2012 Redistricting

11/13 (Morning of) Publicly release Final 2012 Redistricting Report

This timeline complies with the City Charter and City Code and also the City Clerk's Office past precedent on the redistricting process.

Redistricting is required to ensure that districts are contiguous and equal in population. Media availability with City Clerk — today after 2pm and Friday before 2:15pm.

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