by Pam Zubeck
City Charter requires the City Clerk to redraw council districts every 4 years. City Clerk must redraw district boundaries at least 120 days but no more than 150 days prior than the 4/4/2017 municipal election. Purpose is to ensure the districts are substantially equal in population and contiguous. Redistricting is based on population not on registered voters.One question that always arises when redistricting comes around is whether the boundaries will be drawn in a way that affects the candidacy of incumbent Council members in the coming election. The following district representatives will be up for re-election in April 2017: Don Knight in northwest District 1; Larry Bagley in north District 2; Keith King in southwest District 3; Helen Collins in southeast District 4; Jill Gaebler in central District 5, and Andy Pico in eastern District 6. (The other three members — Merv Bennett, Tom Strand and Bill Murray — are elected and large and began their four-year terms in April 2015.)
City Code requires a council appointed advisory committee to gather citizen input to aide City Clerk. City council must begin their committee appointment process by 4/9.
Nor can you know how discussions unfold during "work sessions" in a City Hall conference room 90 minutes before every formal Council meeting. Again, no minutes or recordings are made.That means if the groundwork for a major decision is laid during one of these "lunch bunch" meetings, as Councilor Collins calls them, there's no way the public can reconstruct that.
And that won't change.
Citing a city attorney's opinion that says no minutes are required by law for meetings where no action is contemplated or taken, Council Administrator Eileen Gonzalez says anything that's discussed in subcommittee meetings "ultimately results in action by the Council ... in a regular meeting that's recorded" in written minutes and electronically.