Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Last Redistricting Board Meeting? Everyone hopes so.

Here are my rough notes of the meeting which ended at 1:30.  I'll add some pictures later.  Essentially, they approved the Plan and Findings and Maps, which should go up on the website any time now.

1:00pm Moved to approve agenda - approved.
GIS expert report - Eric? 

Eric:  Oerll very clean, I made three changes that involved population moved from one district.  Nine people total for the plan
1.  Two people from D1 to 2 to clean up Speese/Richardson Highway
2.  ??3 from ??
3.  5 From district 6 to 9 along AK Highway.  Johnson River had been the boundary, but took a jag off river that no longer exists.

PeggyAnn McConnochie:  I move we adopt the technical changes reported by Eric.

Vote:  5-0 yes

Torg:  Item 6, adop[tion fo Metes and  Bounds.  Eric, that's in your proclamation plan.  How'd you work your magic on that one.
Eric:  I went along the boundaries of each district.  All clockwise.  Started at easily identified point - like intersection.  Very few changes to be made, some water boundaries, if river zigzagged.  Just plugge away at it for about 3 days.   Questions?

Torgerson:  I wouldn't know how to even form a question look at these.  Like district 9.
Eric:  They warned us about using temporary things like precincts and to use permanent boundaries.

PeggyAnn McConnochie:  move to adopt
Vote:  5-0 yes

Torgerson:  Item 7 not sure there is a legal report.  Iknow you have the proclamation.

White:  You have the proclamation plan on redistricting.  The Proclamation that you will all sign soon.  The written findings, on the map, from a legal standpoint, findings explain the difficult decisions we had.  Excess population of Fairbanks and ????, and low rural population.  I'm convinced all the districts meet all the fed and state constitutional principles.  I can answer any questions. 

Audience member:  Take questions from the audience?  No.

White:  Those Senate seats do not stand for election until 2014, and the others are up for election in 2014.  In 2016 we will be back to the required rotation of ten and ten senate seats up for election.

Torgerson:  When we adopt the findings, does that include the truncation and senate pairings?

White:  yes

McConnochie:  I move we adopt the findings and terms and truncation and senate terms.

Discussion?  ---

Vote:  5-0

1:13:  The Board has adopted the findings and now we move to adopting the Proclamation itself.  I'd note there is a spelling error which is being corrected now.  An e will be added to the name.

McConnochie:  I move we adopt the proclamation plan.

Torgerson:  Discussion?

Vote:  5-0

Torgerson:  That brings us to Board member comments.

Brodie:  I'd like to thank all the people who came and testified this second time around, it helped us make our decisions.  It wasn't an easy job in the beginning and still wasn't easy to balance all the criteria.  Some requests contradicted others.  Thank all the Board members for taking off from the families and jobs.  Frustrating at times, but I certainly got an education.

Holm:  I'm not running for anything, so not sure if I should thank anyone.  An unusual process.  Pleasantly surprised to meet each and every one of you.  How hard it is to balance the constitution of Alaska and all the indiidual needs.  As a former legislator I find it ?? to accommodate everyone.  I'm not an Alaska Native but a Native Alaskan.  Mr. Chairman I enjoyed working with you.  You're a little hard to get along with at times, but it's been fun watching you do this.

Green:  In memory of Ron Miller who set the tone for us.  How proud I was to have known him.  Eric and Taylor stepping up.  We couldn't have done it without him.  I learned a lot from the process.  I hope one day when the next go around, that all the parties came come together.  Not so much the parties we represent but the entire state of Alaska.  Exciting when we had calls ... and two different groups coming together for the benefit of the entire state of alaska.  Such a wonderful feeling.  I really express my appreciation.  We haven't satisfied the entire state, but we did the best we could, given the 2010 population.  It will be more of a challenge in 2020.  Thank you Mr. Chair for your leadership and Bob, PeggyAnn, and Mike. . .

PeggyAnn McConnochie:  Thank you ????.  No one will know how hard we worked on this.  And I thank our staff, from Mary to Eric to Taylor and Ron Miller.  We had an incredible Board.  Obstacles in our way.  We were able to do it because two different groups came together and made it work.  When you are balancing concerns on every side, we came down on the side of Alaska.

Torgerson:  When are we filing this report.
White:  Tuesday afternoon or sometime Wednesday.

Torgerson:  I, like the rest of the Board, want to thank all the Board members, and our staff, we put real pressure on Mary, and coming in on Sundays and 4th of July weekend.  And Marie is absolutely right, without Eric we wouldn't have gotten far on this.  And Marcia Davis, Tom Begich, and Randy Ruedrich for coming together and agreeing to the boundaries of 36 districts.  Only time you'll hear those two names mentioned in the same sentence.  The only part they didnt agree on was Fairbanks, and board went their own way on that one.

Some delay waiting on the Supreme Court.  Without that decision, one way or the other would have complicated things.  Hope this makes it through the scrutiny of the courts.  I want to see you all and Mr. White again, but never in this building.

White:  Extraordinarily proud to work with this group.  I've seen how hard you worked.  I know there are people in the press who have had said things about this board.  I disagree with the negative things.  I hope I served you well as the counsel.  I not only have made colleagues here, but also friends and you can call on me any time.  I think future boards will have an easier time because of the struggles you have gone through.  And I know the Board will make recommendations for the future boards.

Torgerson:  We didn't have instructions from the previous board.  MIA.  Some ideas may take legislation, like a planning team prior to the board, some rfps,  We do have the cleaning corrected spelling.  I don't see a need to stay on the record to sign that.  So Eric, you still there. You want to say anything.

Eric:  Webposting, I assume once you have signed everything, I can post all this?

Torgerson:  We'll do this in ten or 15 minutes and I'll call you with the goahead.  I supposed you can go ahead and send them to the webmaster.  The only thing he won't have is the signed proclamation.  And the Board signed findings.

STands adjourned.  1:30pm

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