Council will look at changes to districts' lines


— In an attempt to even out voter numbers, the Steamboat Springs City Council could approve a change to its districts' lines.

At tonight's meeting, the council will look at the first reading of an ordinance that would realign the city's districts by shifting two precincts. The city's three districts are made up of Routt County's voting precincts, but those districts have a disparity of more than 1,600 registered voters.

The biggest gap is between the downtown district and the district at the base of the ski mountain. Last year, City Clerk Julie Jordan found by moving around Precincts 3 and 5, the city could bring the difference in voter numbers down to 600.

Because residents can vote on all city issues and all City Council members, regardless of what district they live in, the change should have little effect on election outcomes.

What it will change is which district potential City Council members can represent. The proposal before council would not displace any City Council members from the districts in which they currently live. It would take Councilman Steve Ivancie from District II to District I, but Ivancie represents the council's at-large position and can live anywhere in the city.

If approved, redistricting will go into effect for this November's election when four City Council members' terms are up: Ivancie, Paul Strong from District III, Bud Romberg from District I and Arianthe Stettner from District II.

District III, which is the mountain base area, currently has 3,692 registered voters, compared to District I, which extends west from Seventh Street and has 2,080 registered voters. District II, which runs east from Seventh Street to Fish Creek, has 3,301 voters.

The 1,612 difference in registered voters in District I and District III prompted City Clerk Julie Jordan to recommend reconfiguring district lines in December.

Tonight's proposal would add Precinct 3 to precincts 1 and 2 in District I.

That would bring the most western district to 3,346 registered votes.

Precinct 3 would be taken out of District II, but Precinct 5 would be added with the already existing Precincts 4 and 19.

That configuration would have 3,032 registered voters in the midtown district.

In District III, Precinct 5 would be taken out and Precincts 6 and 20 would remain.

With 2,695 votes, the proposed configuration would drop District III's registered voters by almost 1,000, making it the smallest district in the city.


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