COMMENTARY: Boundaries changed for Pierce County Council

By Dan Roach

For The Courier-Herald

Every 10 years the federal government conducts a census to get an accurate population count in our country. You may remember filling out the census forms in 2010 and some of you may have even received a visit at your door.

Data from the census is used to redraw district boundaries for congressional, state legislative, county council and school board districts to reflect changes in population growth. Among other things, these new boundaries are drawn so  each district has the same number of people.

On a state level, all 49 legislative districts will undergo significant changes.

The congressional boundaries may show the most change due to the fact that Washington will be adding a 10th U.S. congressional district. A redistricting committee is currently working on the changes and new districts will go into effect after the 2012 elections.

The county has a separate redistricting process. It may come as a surprise to some that on a county level, we have already undergone the redistricting process and the changes are currently in effect,

Last month, Pierce County Council District 1, which I represent, included Milton, Edgewood, Sumner, Bonney Lake, Lake Tapps, Buckley, South Prairie, Alderton, Carbonado, Wilkeson, Greenwater, Orting, Kapowsin, parts of Pacific, Auburn and Graham, and all of the unincorporated areas in that area.

The new District 1 includes Lake Tapps, Bonney Lake, Buckley, Carbonado, Wilkeson, Greenwater, Orting, South Hill, and unincorporated areas in between.

Those who live in Sumner, plus the Pierce County portions of Auburn, Edgewood, Milton, Pacific and Alderton, are now located in the Council District 2, and those in east Graham and Kapowsin are now in District 3.

These are very significant changes as only about half of the old district remains in the District 1. While I will miss working with so many great people and communities, I look forward to continuing representing those of you who remain in the district and welcoming all those who are new!

There are a number of important issues before the council and work is just beginning on the annual county budget. Now is a good time to have your voice heard.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you on county issues. I can be contacted by phone at 253-978-3635 or by e-mail at droach@co.pierce.wa.us.


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