Some residents of Everett are showing their support for splitting the Everett City Council representation into geographic districts by displaying yard signs, such as this one seen on Rucker Ave. on Thursday. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

Some residents of Everett are showing their support for splitting the Everett City Council representation into geographic districts by displaying yard signs, such as this one seen on Rucker Ave. on Thursday. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

In survey, 80% back geographic districts for Everett council

The survey asked about several ways of organizing City Council representation.

EVERETT — A city survey found a majority of participants favored splitting the Everett City Council representation into geographic districts.

Some 483 people provided feedback, and nearly 80 percent supported making the switch, according to results released this week.

The council has seven seats, all drawn from at-large elections. Its members are expected to come up with a November ballot measure, giving voters a chance to change some of the seats to be elected directly by districts.

The survey offered several methods that would divide the council seats between districts and at-large positions. The most popular method, with 31 percent, opted for five council members from districts, with two at-large positions. That’s been the formula recommended by Everett Districts Now, the group that’s been seeking petition signatures for its own ballot measure.

Another model, with seven positions from districts, closely followed in survey results, with 29 percent.

There’s a possibility both the City Council and Everett Districts Now will place districting measures on November’s ballot.

City Council President Paul Roberts on Wednesday said a draft of the city’s ballot measure could be completed as early as next week. He said he is open to presenting a “package” of districting options for voters.

Everett Districts Now released a statement Wednesday about the survey results, calling the numbers “irrepressible” evidence of support for its model. The group tried to put a measure on the ballot in 2017 but failed to gather the required signatures. They’ve been gathering signatures on a revised version this year.

The survey followed four public meetings in April. The questions also touched on when districts should be implemented and how the boundaries should be drawn. Of the participants, 463 said they lived in city limits.

For comparison, 17,512 voters cast ballots in the Everett mayor’s race in November.

Joseph Thompson: 425-339-3430; jthompson @heraldnet.com. Twitter: @JoeyJThomp.

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