Friday, June 03, 2011

Brodie Plan Gets Eagle River Together in Two Districts, Mostly*

I got to the Board meeting about half hour late.  Which meant I had fifteen more minutes before they broke until 3pm.

When I got there they were talking about deviation.  How much would be ok for Anchorage.  Attorney Mike White was saying that given the strong argument people were making - based on public testimony - that Eagle River people wanted to be together without others - he felt he would be comfortable defending the relatively high urban deviation (+1.8%) the two Eagle River districts would cause.   Yesterday, he played the devil's advocate, and had said that Eagle River was part of the Municipality of Anchorage and that as such, they had no special claim to be a separate area.  Board members cited the testimony.  White said urban area deviation over 1% would be hard to defend.

Bob Brodie's map, which was on the screen, puts downtown center Eagle River in one district and the area surrounding downtown as another district.  No Muldoon.

*I said mostly in the title because it's not altogether clear what 'Eagle River' means.  It's not a separate town or city.  It's legally part of Anchorage.   But it's clearly its own place, just as Girdwood is. But its boundaries are not as clear as Girdwood's. Is it downtown Eagle River, Eagle River Valley, and the area off Hiland Road?  How far up the Glenn Highway does it go?  Is it all the people up the Glenn Highway outside of Anchorage to the border with Matsu?  Is Chugiak part of the mental map of Eagle River or do those folks think of themselves as different from ER as ER feels itself different from Anchorage?

Because they were only able to create the two Eagle River districts by taking about 1000 people on the Anchorage side of Peters Creek and joining them with a Matsu district.

The blue is the new Eagle River district 19 and the pink is the new Eagle River 18.  The black lines are the current (2001) district lines.  So district 19 is pretty much the same as the old central ER district.

Going north, district 18 goes to Peters Creek (if I understand that correctly) except for that little tongue of green which is, on Brodie's map, would be part of Matsu district 16.

Looking south, district 18 has Fort Rich and the boundary on the east side of Anchorage is Fort Rich.  So the Muldoon neighborhoods between Muldoon and the base are NOT in the Eagle River district in this map.  [So I didn't clearly understand the issue with the bases yesterday.  I'll check more on what that was about.  I know they said they needed to split the bases, which they've done, but since the referenced the Lt. Governor's letter to the board, I thought they were also trying to keep the bases separate from the non-base districts.  It turns out Elmendorf and Fort Richardson combined are about 3,000 people short of the 17,755 needed for a separate district district.  (Most of the pink in district 18 is uninhabited land in Chugach State Park.)

This map enlarges a lot for much more detail
This is the rest of Anchorage on Brodie's map.  Again, the black lines are the current district boundaries.

This picture shows the deviations for districts 18 - 23 on Brodie's map.  18 is + 1.82% (324 people over the 17,755 target number) and 19 is +1.78% (317 people over the target.)  Could they add another 500 people to those going to the Matsu district to get the deviation under 1%?  Is that a better solution for the people involved?  Who knows? 

This is not the final Anchorage map.  Other board members and staffers are working on maps today and the board reconvenes at 3pm.  You should be able to listen in here, and watch their computer screen with the maps here.

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