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Colorado Springs’ City Clerk today unveiled the final map for city council redistricting, showing how the city is to be divided into districts for representation on the city council. As KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, some neighborhood advocates didn’t like what they saw.
Clerk Sarah Johnson’s map is largely the same as the draft plan she presented for public hearing in October. At that time, members of the Council of Neighbors and Organizations, or CONO, complained it split at least 10 neighborhoods. Johnson says she considered the border changes people suggested, but maintains the rules essentially left her no choice.
“It was a decision that was made, in consultation with our attorneys, that if we did make changes of that magnitude, they were wholesale re-dos that it would require a public process to do that and the charter says one public hearing.”
CONO’s Jan Doran says splitting a community that has common interests weakens its representation on city council.
“When you have people who live in the urban interface, or you have people who live adjacent to highways they have certain issues they have always worked together…Then when you separate them they have two different council people that they report to, and that can be very diluting.”
Johnson’s map did make small changes by uniting the Old North End in District 5, and redrawing District 6 in the city’s northeast, to accommodate new development. The city charter gives the clerk sole responsibility for redistricting. The new plan increases the number of districts from 4 to 6.