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Meridian mayor and council draft letter regarding county redistricting

Meridian Mayor Robert Simison and the Meridian City Council are sending a letter to Senators Bart Davis and Dan Schmidt with suggestions regarding legislative redistricting. 

“As Meridian grows, it is imperative that the interests of Meridian be kept whole,” Simison wrote. “Specifically, maintaining two complete legislative districts central to Meridian will preserve the representative needs of Meridian’s interests, with the remainder in as much of a district as possible. We believe that based upon our existing population and the identified size of legislative districts (52,546), this is an achievable goal.”

In the letter, Simison added that if Ada County must split, the city recommends the committee look at northern Ada and Canyon counties where Star has already annexed across boundaries.

“If it is important to keep communities of interest together, it would make sense in this area,” he wrote.

[New district map for Boise City Council elections gets the green light]

Population and map

The letter notes, the city believes that the current population, not projections, should determine district size. 

“It is imperative that we do not shrink the size of districts simply because of projected or possible growth,” Simison wrote. “We need to ensure that the 2020 census data treats people fairly based upon the existing data. Not what it may look like in 5 years. That said, we would encourage the Commission to also look at Area of City Impact maps if you want to consider how cities may develop.”

The city drafted a map of Ada and Canyon Counties that considers where Meridian could grow. The city made the map to show that it is possible to implement at least two districts that reflect the city’s boundaries.

“I thought you hit the nail on the head with the comment about Star as they grow and they’re growing westward. And they cross a county boundary and it makes sense, it keeps the community together,” council member Brad Hoaglun said during Tuesday’s meeting. “I think it’s important for Meridian as a community of interest to have a couple of districts that represent all of Meridian.”

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Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Meridian and McCall. Contact her at [email protected].

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