Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Next Redistricting Board Meeting To Discuss Staffing And Strategy - Tuesday February 12,

The Supreme Court has decided that Alaska Redistricting Board needs to start from scratch to create a new Plan (map of the House and Senate districts) for the 2014 election.  The Board has petitioned for reconsideration.  I got an email yesterday that the Board will meet next Tuesday.

I checked with the Board to see if there was any word from the Supreme Court and was told there hasn't been a response or even an indication when there might be one.

In the past, the Court has been pretty quick in their decision making for the Board. It's been month now since the Board filed its petition.  Does the delay indicate that the division among justices in the decision (3-2) has continued and they haven't reached a final decision?  Or is it because the urgency that existed before the 2012 elections is not an issue now and the Court has other cases to decide?  Though this one has big consequences for Alaska.

In any case, if the Board does have to start over again, they're going to need to hire new staff and part of the meeting agenda has budget and staffing discussion.   There's also time allotted for discussing the legal issues, both in the public hearing and in executive session.   Finding people up to speed on the redistricting software and process isn't going to be easy.  It's a pretty specialized field, happens every ten years, and the details for the state change every ten years.  Mary Core has been kept on staff all along, but Taylor Bickford, who was the Executive Director, took a job with Strategies 360.  Taylor was the one who made sure the website was kept up-to-date, so their homepage's most recent announcement is dated June 27, 2012.  The Assistant Director Jim Ellis is now staff for Valley representative Lynn Gattis.


My guess is that unless the Court's decision is released before the meeting (a call to the Supreme Court office got no predictions on when that will happen) the public meeting will be a pretty short. Here's the agenda I got from the Board:

BOARD MEETING AGENDA
Tuesday,  10:00AM
February 12, 2013
Anchorage, Alaska


CALL TO ORDER
ROLL CALL
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
Budget
Staffing
LEGAL REVIEW OF LATEST SUPREME COURT DECISION
EXECUTIVE SESSION:  LITIGATION STRATEGY AND ADVISE FROM COUNSEL
BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS
NEXT MEETING

ADJOURNMENT

Here's the email announcement (the easiest way to find out when they are meeting or doing anything is to get on their email list - at their website right hand column) of the meeting with information on how to livestream it.


February 5, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Alaska Redistricting Board Meeting Notice
Anchorage, Alaska - The Alaska Redistricting Board will meet at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 to discuss administrative matters and and receive a briefing from its attorney on the recent Alaska Supreme Court decision.

All Board meetings are public meetings. Members of the public may attend in person at the Board's Anchorage office (411 West 4th Avenue, Suite 302, Anchorage, AK 99501) or listen via live stream at www.aklegislature.tv

 Anyone needing special accommodations is requested to call 907-269-7402 or email info@akredistricting.org
### 

CONTACT: 

Mary Core, Administrative Assistant

Phone:  (907) 269-7402

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