An online map tool shows the Everett Public Library as a dot near the center of the image in District 2. The city districting commission held the District 1 forum there, violating the city charter. (City of Everett)

An online map tool shows the Everett Public Library as a dot near the center of the image in District 2. The city districting commission held the District 1 forum there, violating the city charter. (City of Everett)

Council districting commission erred in meetings, Everett resident says

Hosting the District 1 meeting at the Everett Public Library, currently in District 2, seemingly violated the city charter.

EVERETT — An Everett resident on Wednesday alleged the commission that shaped the map of slightly redrawn Everett City Council districts erred in its public meetings process.

Paula Townsell, who lives in the city and is a member of the Everett Districts Now ad-hoc committee, followed the redistricting process and previously asked the council to not approve the proposed map. She told the council it was “falsely advised” before it approved the map last week.

The city charter limits the council’s authority to approving the districting commission’s map without amendment or modification by Nov. 1.

In August, the commission hosted a meeting in each of the five districts, as well as a citywide meeting at Everett Station that also was available by phone and video.

But the District 1 meeting was held at the Everett Public Library at 2702 Hoyt Ave., currently in District 2.

That violates Everett charter section 2.1 (c), Townsell said. Specifically, it runs afoul of the line, “At least one public forum shall be held in each then-existing District,” she said.

Townsell also claimed the citywide meeting didn’t meet the threshhold for a public hearing, as that meeting is described in the city charter.

She asked the council to rescind its approval and remand the map back to the districting commission to hold those meetings properly.

Mayor Cassie Franklin asked the city attorney’s office to review and respond to the information Townsell submitted.

The council did not take action on the approved map Wednesday.

It’s unclear if there’s enough time for a public forum and a public hearing by the Nov. 1 deadline.

If the council doesn’t rescind its approval and ask the commission to redo those meetings, Everett Districts Now was prepared to ask the Snohomish County Superior Court to review the map, per state law RCW 29A.76.010.

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

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