The proposed Everett City Council districts map would make small shifts to all five districts based on recent Census data. (City of Everett)

The proposed Everett City Council districts map would make small shifts to all five districts based on recent Census data. (City of Everett)

Everett City Council district commission sticks with map

The map is set for council despite pleas for Broadway to split the two northern districts and criticism over the process.

EVERETT — Everett City Council districts likely will keep their basic shapes despite some pleas to remake the two northern districts with Broadway as the dividing line.

The redistricting commission, a group of nine Everett residents appointed to review Census data for adjustments to council districts, voted unanimously Sept. 8 to recommend the map. It slightly shifts each district to keep the total population within 3% over or under the average of 22,126 residents.

Some people, including several from the Delta neighborhood, continued their call to remake one district east of Broadway from the northern end as far south as the Valley View neighborhood.

Members of the group who pushed for City Council districts have criticized the commission’s process to adjust the map and present it to the public.

Bob Schweitzer, the districting master hired by the commission to evaluate the map adopted in 2020 and recent Census data, presented a map with districts split down Broadway to the commission last month. It helped narrow the population deviation for the first and second districts, he said.

“I’m very much leaning towards this whole idea of this option B for this Broadway split,” Schweitzer told the commission.

But the commission eventually declined to propose that option, and instead unanimously voted for a version that had “small tweaks” to the 2020 map.

“Doing a big change like this, after having had this map for only two years, I think it’s just too much,” said commission member Simone Tarver, the only member who also served on the first districting commission. “I think it’s something for the districting commission to consider in 10 years if the Northwest goes absolutely wild and wins every time.”

Everett voters ushered in city council districts in 2018. The first elections for five City Council positions by district were in 2021.

Some members of Everett Districts Now, the group that pushed to get council districts on the ballot, criticized the commission for not accepting spoken public comment during its earlier meetings and for not proposing a district east of Broadway.

The commission’s meetings were conducted remotely via Zoom and could be viewed there or on YouTube.

In-person comments were accepted during meetings held in each district in August when the proposed map was available for review.

Attendance at those meetings was sparse with at most 10 people in the audience. One meeting had as few as one person who did not comment on the proposed map, Everett engagement director Nichole Webber told The Daily Herald.

Commission members distributed fliers, the city posted about the meetings to its social media and website, and announcements were made during city council meetings, Webber said.

“There’s just not high participation in how these lines are being drawn,” Webber said.

Data about the districts with Broadway was used as the dividing line wasn’t presented until last month. It put the commission up against a tight deadline with Nov. 1 as the date when the City Council has to approve the map, according to the city charter.

“If they had taken public comment, they would know that people were advocating for a different option, for splitting the first district east and west along Broadway,” said Megan Dunn, speaking as one of the Everett Districts Now organizers and not as a Snohomish County Council member.

In the Sept. 8 meeting, some commission members discussed how recently the districts were implemented and their aversion to making major changes.

Schweitzer also called the districts “very new” and said it was “quite a bit more change” to do the Broadway split, but it could be done if that’s what the community and commission wanted.

Lois Wentink, another Everett Districts Now organizer, said she disagreed with the commission pointing to how new the districts are as a reason to avoid considering broader changes.

“That was basically the one argument, ‘It’s too soon,’” Wentink said.

The Everett City Council is scheduled for a briefing of the proposed map next week, with a vote Oct. 19. It must be accepted, without changes, by Nov. 1, according to the city charter.

“There’s so little time,” Wentink said. “I’m just feeling great frustration in a process that should’ve been open and participatory.”

Per the charter, the next districting commission will be convened when new Census data is available in 10 years.

Ben Watanabe: 425-339-3037;; Twitter: @benwatanabe.

Talk to us

More in Local News

The Walmart Store on 11400 Highway 99 on March 21, 2023 in in Everett, Washington. The retail giant will close the store on April 21, 2023. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
Walmart announces Everett store on Highway 99 will close on April 21

The Arkansas-based retail giant said the 20-year-old Walmart location was “underperforming financially.”

Firefighters respond to a house fire Wednesday morning in the 3400 block of Broadway. (Everett Fire Department)
3 hospitalized in critical condition after Everett house fire

Firefighters rescued two people, one of whom uses a wheelchair, from the burning home in the 3400 block of Broadway.

Michael Tolley (Northshore School District)
Michael Tolley named new Northshore School District leader

Tolley, interim superintendent since last summer, is expected to inherit the position permanently in July.

News logo for use with stories about Mill Creek in Snohomish County, WA.
Mill Creek house fire leaves 1 dead

The fire was contained to a garage in the 15300 block of 25th Drive SE. A person was found dead inside.

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
New forecast show state revenues won’t be quite as robust as expected

Democratic budget writers say they will be cautious but able to fund their priorities. Senate put out a capital budget Monday.

Everett Memorial Stadium and Funko Field on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Drive to build new AquaSox ballpark gets $7.4M boost from state

The proposed Senate capital budget contains critical seed money for the city-led project likely to get matched by the House.

Ron Thompson, a former resident of Steelhead Haven, places a sign marking the 9-year anniversary of the Oso landslide Wednesday, March 22, 2023, at the landslide memorial site in Oso, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
‘It’s the closest I can be to them’: Nine years after the Oso mudslide

In the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history, 43 people died. Families, survivors and responders honored the victims Wednesday.

Prosecutor Craig Matheson gives his opening statement in the trial of Richard Rotter at the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett, Washington on Monday, March 20, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
At trial in Everett cop’s killing, witnesses recall chaotic chase

The testimony came after an Everett officer was shot while investigating a robbery Wednesday morning, investigators said.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Pursuing pursuits, erasing advisory votes and spending battles begin

It’s Day 73. Budgets are in the forecast as lawmakers enter the final month of the 2023 session

Most Read