Thursday, June 02, 2011

Senators Coghill and Thomas Paired in Fairbanks as Anchorage and Fairbanks Worked On

[These are pretty rough notes, so recognize that there are errors and gaps.  Use this as a guide for questions, not an authoritative record of the meeting.]

Overview:  Holm presented his Fairbanks map - I have several minutes on video so you can get a sense of what it was like.  Sens. Coghill and Thomas were put in the same district.  Then they looked at Anchorage maps.  Key problem is what to do with 1700 people in Chugiak? [They said Chugach] - spread them out in Matsu or in Anchorage.  They're working on that during break.  

Alaska Redistricting Board, Thursday, June 2, 2011 - Morning session, 10:00am to 12:55pm
Working of Fairbanks and Anchorage districts
All Members Present: PeggyAnn McConnochie, Bob Brody, Jim Holm, John Torgerson, and Marie Greene
Staffers:  Taylor Bickford (Executive Director); Michael White (Attorney), Eric Sandberg (GIS), Jim Ellis (Asst. Director)

Executive Director:
1.  Transcripts of public hearings some are up, not of meetings.  Audio up.  Transcribers having trouble figuring out who is talking.  Discussion of whether to have transcriber at meeting, could they go back and id voices (White:  yes). 
Torg:  Recorder has transcribed this,
White:  Yes, we can id who the speaker is.  I know from experience - last lititagion involved board meetings where they didn’t go back and do that.  It was a mess.  People wouldn’t admit, when it’s obvious who is speaking but person didn’t admit it.
Torg:  Sounds like we can put one person do that. 
2.  I would say, for those on line and Webinar - we have the Anchorage maps available.  We’ll look at Matsu and Fairbanks , they aren’t current;y up, but we’ll put them up when on recess.
White:  Reviewing the reading file, comment by Bob, not sure if he was misquoted. one of the Kodiak reports - Senate seats had to be socio-economically integrated and compact, and that’s not so.  ONly have to be contiguous.  House seats have to be s-e integrated and compact. 
Torg:  Easy for someone to be confused on that

Board Discussion of Final Plan Development

Fairbanks plan that Eric has cleaned up - based on Holm plan. 

No copies:

Subject to a little clean up
PeggyAnn McConnochie  - can we go to the deviations please? 
HOLM:  Tried to keep deviations as close as I could .68% [Not so, I got it wrong]  Not enough population in Ft Wainright, had to go to HotSprings    ….Bennet Road to Nordhill Rd  to Pipeline Access to Slough

[Stopped typing to do Video of Holm describing Fairbanks districts]

Even 12 is close.  Don’t kow how to get more people into 12 without taking them out of 7, but that minimizes Fairbanks .
Taylor Bickford:  Does this minimize the Matsu side of 12?
Holm:  Yes, you can roll that down there.  [That part of Matsu is still

I think Sen Thomas lives up here, so he’s here in 7. Same with Sen. Coghill and Tammie Wilson, they are now in 11.  The only problem we had before , I went all the way to Tanana River, not a lot of people there, it ust makes sense to clean it up.  Whenever we get around to pairing, we could do it however we want.  At least 2.5 pairings. 

Torgerson :  City of FBI has its maximum.  FBI/STB have 5 seats in Borough boundary. 
A little less than excess population and rolling it into 12.  And a little into 38. 
Holm:  Gives an additional possible Senate pairing. 
Torgerson :  Any legal issues?
White:  Other than what we talked about before.  Coming into the B twice, and VRA.  Coming in all from one direction.  Some concern about compactness.  REason for doing that.  NP and Eilson together.
Holm:  NP people are lots of military.  Moose Creek and NP are really integrated.  Eilson really.
White:  The rest is just to get people.  Not a lot of people where 7 and 11 .
Holm:  Not on the right side, but I had to get people here to get enough in the district. 
White:  Any other comments on this or just based on your 60 years [H: 65] living in that area? 

Holm:  I think it’s about the population having more value in 12.
Torgerson:  Were they already there?
Holm:  Redline - they are currently split 3 ways.  Show you what 11 used to be.  Used to be up in 7.  Most rapidly growing area in the Borough.  Had to be carved up.
RB:  Whats the Population in Steese and North Pole.
Holm:  Population right along here.
Taylor Bickford :  How many people?
Holm:  ??A bunch??
Taylor Bickford :  You could have brough 11 across but you needed pop for 7.  In city I couldn’t go to …
Taylor Bickford :  You have to take all of that.  Have to bring it up a little bit.  Make the shape look nicer.  All or nothing.
Holm:  Same as 8, it looks a little goofy because of the census blocks.  No one lives here.  Part of the base. 
Taylor Bickford :  Can you go there under the RR.  Any population there?  All farmland.
Holm:  All farmland, not many people. 
Go down to Cowpie avenue.  How do you like that for a name?  It’s all farmland.  You’re talking about widening this?  You could use the old Valdez trail and roll it down a bit,
Taylor Bickford :  Just thinking out loud.  You’re saying it’s all farmland.
Torgeson:  I’m happy with this.  Between farmland and military base, it all makes sense.  At least half of it was an existing district.
Holm:  Yes.  There aren’t many people.  Don’t remember but uner 300.  I was concerned.  We’re already 2.3% underpopulated in 12.  I don’t think we want to do that.
Taylor Bickford :  If you don’t take Eilson here, where would it go?
Holm:  Into 7.
Taylor Bickford :  Whats the connection?
Holm:  Not a lot.  And then you’re in a box.  This is much more compact.  You recall the original one I had 11 all the way down into here.  We took those people out and shited everything east for the extra population.  All the people in 7 here are essentially the same.  Similar lifestyles.  East Farmer Loop. 
White:  Mostly rural?
Holm: Used to be all the farming area.  Still a lot of truck farming.  All developed druing the state thing - the barley project between this area and here in Delta.
White:  In the 30s?
Holm:  No, in the 80s when we had lots of money and did silly things.  Not really happy about ???.  ONce poplation to certain level, then it’s just playing with numbers.  You know how we’ve been nipping at corners.  This whole thing gives FBI 5 good seats.  Potential 6 potential Senate ??
My guess is 8/12  7/11 and 9/10.  Kind of the reason I picked up all this here - no folks there, but might as well have them all in one district.  Goes all the way down to Denali b but absolutely no folks in there. 
"Bugle" district
Holm:  Couldn’t get rid of the bugle.  900 people live in this area.  Looks like a little snout. 
White:  Same reason for little horn in 10? 
Holm for population.  That’s college road.  Follows the slough.  They didnt want to be in 7 they are part of the city.  Originally in 10, now in 9 because we needed the population.  And this is in 10 and now in 9.
Taylor Bickford :  I’d suggest this compactness in general will be part of staff analysis and make a list of how to change. 
PeggyAnn McConnochie :  If that’s going to be done.  I like it except.  I’ll go ahead to get it on the record that we adopt the plan in concept and have staff look at it for inconsistency in boundary. 
Holm:  Yeah, we’ve got a lot of them.  Eric’s looking at it.
Torgerson :  Second? 
Torgerson :  Call 10 the root canal district.  
All voted yes.  5-0 for. 
"Root Canal" district Fairbanks

Torgerson :  Anything else to look at?  What’s next?
Jim Ellis Matsu.
Cleaned up.  Made minimal changes

[Sorry, while they were going through details of the Matsu map, I was trying to find more room on my sound cards.  A big concern I heard was the relatively high 2+% deviation in some cases.  They’ve been working on that and got them down mostly below 1%]

This map also seems to take more of Matsu - Fishhook Road area - for District 12, the one that goes to Fairbanks  and Valdez. 

11:17am - they approved the Matsu map in concept.  Torgerson asked if they needed a break before going to Anchorage maps.  PeggyAnn McConnochie said no, but now two of the members are gone as they start on the Anchorage maps. 


[On the screen it says “Western Alaska Map”  but it’s clearly Anchorage they are looking at, so I’m not sure where this map is from.  There are five maps that were printed out:
AFFR = 2 (macro and micro)
MOA = 2 (macro and micro)
Unlabeled = 1 very large scale

They are looking at how this map relates to what they’ve done with Kenai and Matsu.

they used a previous district overlay and then a community council overlay.]

[Later:  turns out this is the Rights Coalition map].

PeggyAnn McConnochie: Whether we should pay attention closely to Council boundaries.
White:  Last time tried to justify AFFR plan in Anchorage based on Community of Interest, included Com Councils and areas of people together with like minds.  Court said not a good reason for deviations.  Deviations were 90%???  Northern areas underpopulated and southern areas overpopulated.  It was clear it was based on Democratic and Republican districts.  Court said Communities of interest not justification for deviations that high.  Not illegal to break Com Councils into as many districts as you want.  We’ve heard testimony to keep them together.  But no reason to keep them. 
Torgerson:  District 23 is divided by 7 community councils?  This one here -30- divided by five community councils?  Not sure any plan can do it?
White:  Can’t  be done.
Torgerson :  Next plan?
Taylor Bickford :  Municipality of Anchorage.  The only thing inconsistent with our boundaries is that white chunck there.  Anchorage plan and AFFR plan you could bring 19 to Peters Creek or shift some of 15 back in.
Torgerson :  Didin’t we set the boundary with Matsu as Peters Creek?
Taylor Bickford :  Yes, population wise it doesn’t matter.  In both of these I was trying to show they work within our plan. 
Torgerson :  Can we see the old district overlay?
Taylor Bickford: didn’t ER say their old district was no good?  They had the base before.  Do these boundaries define ER? 
Torgerson:  Add community council boundaries.  [Laughter when they show up]
Taylor Bickford :  Add house district. 
Torgerson:  Looks like MOA split ER
Taylor Bickford:  CC districts for ER went way outside these lines. 
Torgerson: Bases are split.  I guess that’s logical.  But Military established boundary right?
??:  Government Hill? 
Brody:  Muldoon didn’t want to be divided.  Has a lot of military housing. 
Holm:  Being connected with 20 is a good thing?
Brody:  Weren’t happy with be connected to ER.  [Almost everything east of Muldoon is in 18 - I just saw the maps they handed out have different numbers on some of the districts from what’s on the screen.  RR just told me they were done before the changes in the Old D6 and related changes.]
Holm:  Now they have two legislators instead of one in their community council.
Brody:  What are those ears sticking out into the base?
Holm:  That’s where we have ships coming in.  Port of Anchorage, Govt. Hill. 
Taylor Bickford: That alleviates the Lt. Gov’s problem of pockets of city on the base.
Brody:  Question whether this is official MOA or not.
Torgerson:  Got a letter from the Mayor.  Official officer.


Eric:  They have Whittier in their S Anchorage, but we have it in our PWS, but we can work with that.
Deviation:  all under 1%
Eric:  Add this to 18 a little over deviation, but there’s a creek here to Glen Highway, if you put it back into 15 you can get the deviation back.
Taylor Bickford:  Is that white chunk similar to MOA?
Eric:  Yes
PeggyAnn McConnochie: ??
Eric:  AFFR used Peters Creek except the white chunk.  Similar to MOA here.  Fort Rich and Elmendorf divided.
Taylor Bickford: 18 and 19 identical to MOA?
Holm:  Still have half of ER split in two?
Torgerson:  What’s the boundary splitting ER?
Eric:  Meadow Creek to ER loop, down through neighborhood to old Glen Highway.  I think same boundary MOA used
Taylor Bickford:  19 the same too? 
Eric:  Keep it in Chugach State Park.
PeggyAnn McConnochie:  Mine says 16 and 17 on MOA plans . .
Eric:  I had to swap out because of what we did with our plans.
Torgerson: Not trying to cook the books are you :)
Taylor Bickford:  Looks identical
PeggyAnn McConnochie: diffierence between 21 and 25.  Between MOA and AFFR it looks different - 25 upper is part of 19 in MOA mpa, right?
Torgerson:  so they’re quite a ways on the base. 
PeggyAnn McConnochie:  is that hard to change?
Eric:  Probably grabbed more of Muldoon.  21 further out of Muldoon
. . . 

Torgerson: Is there another one?
Eric:  I have an AFFER map
PeggyAnn McConnochie:  Are there maps for that?  [no]
Eric:  Similar to MOA and AFFR in the north, Ft. Rich and Elmendorf divided
Torgerson:  How hard to do an overlay of the  - it would help me if overlaid the MOA, AFFR, and AFFER.
Taylor Bickford:  five minutes to do that.  Recess for ten minutes because Eric’s five minutes is really ten. 
12:00 noon

Eric:  AFFR on the new map is fill colors.  MOA and AFFER white boundaries with white numbers.  I’ve changed the numbers to match what we’ve done. 
Taylor Bickford:  They took that pink and chunk of Muldoon that Anchroage takes into Matsu - AFFR keeps in Anchorage. 
PeggyAnn McConnochie:  I thought we had a lot of testimony from ER folks that they want to be together and this aspect of wanting to be kept whole.
Taylor Bickford:  I don’t think they all wanted to be in the same H district, but they were saying don’t take us to S Anchorage.  It’s not a governmental entity.  There is an ER CC and ERValley CC, you could not put all of ER and ERValley into one house district.
Torgerson:  Is the white line a Chugach, Birchwood boundary?
White:  No, MOA boundary.
Taylor Bickford:  Make the CC line blank.
Brody:  White is in our plan.
Taylor Bickford:  You an add all the white into 18 and shift it all down.  Or into 15 it also works. 
Torgerson:  That the MOA boundaries?
Taylor Bickford:  MOA plan district boundaries.
PeggyAnn McConnochie: Back to my ER question.  Both plans:  AFFR and MOA have ER in seperate districts ?
Taylor Bickford:  Yes and they are wholly in those two districts and they potentially have a Senate district in that.
Torgerson:  19 identical? 
Taylor Bickford:  sliver of Muldoon.
Torgerson: 19 is the same
Eric:  tiny difference - AFFR went a little further on ER
PeggyAnn McConnochie:  who has lower deviation?
PeggyAnn McConnochie:  Hey, I’m trying to protect deviation.
Torgerson:  I’m with you. 
Taylor Bickford: Elmedorf only difference is, you could make them the same if brought green all the way to the water.  Population wise 95%.
Torgerson:  I don’t think it’s a magic bullet that we can combine the two. 
PeggyAnn McConnochie:  Trying to move things along.  If we could look at Chugiak options Eric has, not a motion, just figure next obvious move, make an agreement - I don’t know whose numbers these are - smilar enough, we will take these in concept and worry about the rest?  I don’t know.
Torgerson:  Possible.  Bob has a plan.  Eric, you have something to take care of Chugach population.  Can you run thru that and show how it changes deviations in 12 and Matsu.  Bob, you might have the same issue, but you used what we adopted.  We have to decide if that moves north or south.
Eric:  AFFR has big white area.  I went to Peters Creek.  That put 18 over 9, then I went back to Parks Creek.  This neighborhood surrounded by creeks and mountains and highway and thought it more natural to put this in Matsu and south into Peters Creek.
Brody:  Why are we changing this?
Eric:  What we’d have to do to fit it in with our changes. 
Torgerson:  MOA and AFFR used different boundaries.  Just wondering what would happen if we used their boundaries.
Brody:  To keep our boundaries, then our map is good.
Taylor Bickford: We can either put that population into Matsu or Anchorage.  It makes more sense to spread among 15 districts instead of 5. 
Eric:  Least number of shifts to make the deviations ok. 
Torgerson:  I’m not sure we have to absorb anything, since our plan used Peters Creek . . . Only, one of the things identical AFFR and MOA they both left out that chunk fo Chugach.  Consider what PeggyAnn McConnochie was talking about - adopting one or two of those as basis for drawing Anchorage. 
Taylor Bickford:  If we did that, where would we move the population?
Torgerson: I don’t know we haven’t done it yet.  How fair of a question is that?
Brody:  Dif philosophy.  Nice way to treat it.  I did it like this first, but had extra 1200 people, but I couldn’t figure out a nice way to get those 1200 out.  Puting them into the base does it nicely.  I would have put them deep into muldoon which was universally unliked.  Our deviation in Matsu were all under.  So adding 200 people is just over 1%.
Taylor Bickford:  But remember we got them even yesterday.
Torgerson:  13 and 17 were over.  One was one over (13) and d17 was ?over.  . . . .
Trying to make sure we understand what that whole region represents.  Go back to your old map. 
[Taylor Bickford is talking too quietly for me to hear.]

Torgerson:  We need to go back to an old map of AFFR to see the boundaries.  Peters creek is northern boundary, down to crescent drive.  How many people does that represent?
Eric:  Can we add it to ??  About 1500 people. 
Torgerson:  1700.  That’s 340 people per district if put them into Matsu if you did to five districts.  Too much.  When we finished changing it we were under 1%, doing your suggesting of swapping Valdez.  Eric got the deviation under 1%.
Taylor Bickford: You’re say
Torgerson:  No, you need to take the 1700 into Anchorage
White:  Leave in Anchroage or put them into Matsu.
Torgerson:  Downside of keeping it in Anchorage?
Taylor Bickford:  Wont be able to draw the ER districts - overpopulating the ER districts and they won’t all fit together.  Like a hand grabbing the blocs.  Eric, zoom out, then in so we have the Muldoon ER border.  If you take population out of here - this is all uninhabited
Brody:  Don’t change the slide
. . .
Torgerson:  You’ve started with that already in.  How’d you do it?
Brody:  When you keep the bases together, I kept the old ER district and all the rest was short and I had to come far down here (Muldoon) which is what they didn’t want, but I used a hard line for Peters Creek.
Torgerson:  Should we change the northern boundary?
Brody:  This is good for ER and Muldoon.
Torgerson:  If we move to Matsu, can we do it without messing up the deviation.  I want to see Brody’s before we break for lunch. come back at 3 give staff chance to play with the northern boundary.  2000 people is a lot.
Taylor Bickford: All we have to do is take the five Matsu district and figre out how the districts are short. 
PeggyAnn McConnochie:  I want to see the maps. 

Brody:  I sued the boundary.  Split the bases and wound up with 2000 extra, and so had to come down into North Muldoon.  The pink area was short I had to go quite a ways into Muldoon.  Treating it the other way - these guys did - is much cleaner.  I got everyting less than one percent. 
Torgerson: If we take that 2000 out, we’d be close to close to zero and Matsu close to 1.5%. 
Brody:  The just a matter of adjusting.  Based on those two things we’ve been told - Seward Highway divided E and W Anchorage, tried to keep downtown the same and a few people across the lagoon. 
Here’s the think that spooks them out [Muldoon portion of ER].  Current House districts straddle the Seward Highway.  Also used Minn when I could.
Holm:  Could you overlay the MOA plan?
Brody:  Tried to keep the boundaries together as much as I could.
I started building downtown out to this point (Woronzof).
Torgerson:  Probably take yours out of Muldoon?
Brody:  yes
Taylor Bickford: If do what PeggyAnn McConnochie said, would that work?
Brody:  If I understand you, I’d take this out [Muldoon]
White:  Why is that one district eating the other - 31 - running N-S like pacman eating a pill.
Brody:  No one lives there.
Torgerson:  What about splitting the bases?  We heard not a good idea.
Brody:  No one on the base said it.
Torgerson: When you redraw yours, can you consider splitting the bases?  Do one split and one without. 
Brody:  Splitting with a new Peters Creek one.
Torgerson: Want to look at the impact of that before setting the boundary.  Do you have a quick solution?
Taylor Bickford:  ….
Torgerson:  I understand that.  Is there way to get to a quick resolution of Peters creek issue?
Taylor Bickford:  We can see how it affects the Matsu districts.
Torgerson: shift 1700 north.
White:  Have we looked at how many people actually vote on base?
Torgerson:  We haven’t used that before, not going to start now.  [Actually, this was discussed to jsutify Eilson into 40 if I recall, but it’s been move back to Faribanks.]

Taylor Bickford: If you don’t factor in 12 . ..  If take 12 all the way to 5, you have . .
Brody:  These five Matsu - if we move 2000 people up, then we’re 1200 over in he five districts. 
Taylor Bickford: Whats the number we can move to get to zero - 464. 
Brody:  How many people here?
Eric:  1700
Brody:  we have to move 1700.
Taylor Bickford: We don’t have to move them all.  They need 400.  If you move 1700, you have 1200 too many.
Brody:  Make these 3 and these 2 over and under by an equal amount.
[I can’t keep up with all these details back and forth about moving 1700 people from Peters Creek or Chugach - either to Matsu or Anchroage.
. . .
We built that shared district specifically to lower deviations in Matsu.  We need to define the number that keeps it at zero.
White:  What’s that rationale for overpopulating Valdez?
Taylor Bickford: Keep ER preseverved . . .
White:  ER has no need to be preserved, it’s not a separate identity. [That may be legally true, but not in people’s heads]
PeggyAnn McConnochie:  I’d like to actually see a map.
Torgerson: How long? an hour, and for lunch?
Taylor Bickford: doesn’t matter.
Torgerson:  2:30?
We know there’s a domino effect.  No split between Matsu and district 12.
Brody:  Our highest deviation in Fairbanks is 2.08
Torgerson: I’m ok with 1.5, but not pushing to Valdez.  We ran out of VRA trump cards. Anything else now.  Recess to 2:30.  Time now 12:55.  Nice Discussion.  Great discussion.  Don’t you think?

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