Thursday, June 13, 2013

Overheated Redistricting Board Work Session

Chair Torgerson in yellow shirt

 The door was closed to the meeting room?  Another executive session?  That wasn't on the announcement.  But Mary, the Board's administrative aide tells me it's because the air conditioning in the building isn't working.  The room was really warm last time I was here.

 Big windows with morning sun shining in.  Apparently it could be like this until they finish.  Though some cooler cloudy days should fix it. 

The cooling system

But that means for now they have some sort of standing cooler that makes a lot of noise, so any audio recording will be real difficult in here.  And they aren't saying much anyway. 
The only Board member here is John Torgerson.  (I got here ten minutes late.)  Eric Sandberg, the GIS person from the Department of Natural Resources who was lent to the Board for mapping in the original process.  There are two other people sitting at the table with computers. [I found out they're both GIS folks from the State Department of Natural Resources.] Not even an attorney.  And no one in the cheap seats but me.  [Whoops, 9:35 and someone else has joined me.  Not sure who he is.]

9:20am They’re bringing in two fans. They’re “Holmes” brand.  If I were a conspiracy theorist and I didn’t know how Board member Jim Holm spells his name, I might suspect some sort of questionable contracting.  It’s easy to jump to invalid conclusions.

See what happens when we get a week of sunshine with the temps into the 70s?  We all melt. 

I can't really tell what parts of the state they are working on.  Two of the four computers are on screens. 

A number of people who know that I'm covering the redistricting board have asked why they just don't use some optimization programs to come up with the most viable maps and start from there.  I know that terms like 'socio-economic integration" are hard to define - but people say it can be done, and it would be much more transparent that way (having to clearly define it for the computer) than it is now.  It would still leave the eyeball test at the end.  Here we have two new people to the process working on it with Eric.  Since I missed the beginning I don't know why the other Board members aren't here.  

It even looks like I got some wifi in here for the first time in two years.  Let me check and try to post this.  I have a 10am meeting, so I'm going to have to leave soon anyway. 

9:45 Board member Bob Brodie just walked in, but Chair Torgerson is out of the room. 

1 comment:

  1. Face it. The last thing they want is their dirty laundry on display.


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