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Garfield County considers redistricting

John Colson
Post Independent staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado – Garfield County officials may or may not redraw the boundaries of the three commissioner districts as a consequence of recent shifts in population density.

According to County Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico, the populations of the districts currently stand at:

• 18,214 for District 1, which includes the Carbondale area, Missouri Heights and the region immediately south and west of Glenwood Springs.



• 19,345 for District 2, which includes the northeastern corner of the county and from Glenwood Springs to a point between Silt and Rifle.

• 18,830 for District 3, which includes the western portion of the county.



Under state law, Alberico told the board of county commissioners on May 2, the districts must be “as nearly equal as possible” in population share within a county, although the law does not define exactly what that phrase means.

So, Alberico asked, “Is this close enough, the way it is?”

The deadline for making changes to equalize the districts, she reported, is Sept. 30.

But a bill making its way through the state Legislature could modify the state’s electoral calendar. It would move up the state primaries by two months, from August, 2010 to June, 2010. This, Alberico said, would require political parties to adjust their caucus and assembly dates, which in turn could have an effect on eligibility of candidates in terms of residency requirements.

“It seems that it would be prudent to make any changes to the commissioner district boundaries as soon as possible,” Alberico wrote in a memo to the commissioners.

She proposed a shift to move 695 voters in Precinct 8, along the west bank of the Roaring Fork River, from District 2 into District 1, which would leave District 2 with 18,650 voters and District 1 with 18,909. District 3 would be unchanged.

The board unanimously voted to hold a public hearing on the matter on June 20, to see how the voters feel about it before making a decision about whether to change the district boundaries.

jcolson@postindependent.com


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