Council to approvevoting ward redistricting

Published on Thu, Feb 14, 2008 by Tara Nelson

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Council to approvevoting ward redistricting

By Tara Nelson

In their regular meeting Monday, Blaine City Council moved toward shifting Blaine’s entire ward 3 voting district to Semiahmoo and ward 2 entirely to central Blaine.

The discussion came after much discussion over the unequal population distributions between wards and the possibilities for skewed representation.

District 3 encompasss most of Semiahmoo as well as a large portion of south Blaine. As a result, Blaine voters could feasibly elect as many as five council representatives from Semiahmoo, including the at-large position.

Several audience members including Semiahmoo resident Ron Leach, agreed.

“I think it’s fair, it’s equitable and it just makes plain sense in my mind,” he said. “It also makes it easier in Semiahmoo to pick from a candidate from all of Semiahmoo, rather than from other parts of ward 3.”

The new district lines move the west boundary of ward 2 to the freeway, its southern boundary to Portal Way and ward three entirely to Semiahmoo.

The council will also likely suspend the appointment of a new representative to former councilmember Mike Myers’ seat in ward 3 until the redistricting is complete as Washington state election law requires elected councilmembers to be able to serve out their terms in the districts they were voted to represent.

Blaine resident Dennis Olason, however, disagreed. Olason said he would have liked the council to appoint a new representative first so the decision could be made by a full council.

Washington state election law mandates an empty council seat to be filled within 90 days of the vacancy.