EVERETT — After years of debate, Everett now has a districting commission as it changes how it elects its leaders.
Members of the new panel were selected last week. Each City Council member and Mayor Cassie Franklin got to appoint one representative.
Each appointee resides in a different area. A few are neighborhood leaders and one is a former councilmember.
The group will be tasked with dividing the city into five areas for City Council elections. Voters in November approved the change on how members of the Everett City Council are elected.
The council was aiming for geographic diversity among the commissioners. During the selection process, nominees were mapped according to their address so councilmembers and the mayor could see where each lived as appointments were made. Forty-four residents applied to be on the commission.
The members and neighborhoods they represent are:
Mary Fosse, from Delta
Chris Geray, from Silver Lake
James Langus, from South Forest Park
John Monroe, from Port Gardner
Ethel McNeal, from Twin Creeks
Kari Quaas, from Northwest
Simone Tarver, from Bayside
Benjamin Young, from Valley View
The eight members will choose a ninth, along with hiring a “Districting Master,” who must be trained and experienced in drawing districts. Every decade, a new commission will redraw the lines based on the latest U.S. Census data.
Two of the council seats will remain at-large, elected by the entire city.
Under state law, districts must be as equal in population as possible and be geographically contiguous. Once a draft district plan and map is complete, it will be presented at public forums.
Commissioners must approve the final plan by November 2020. Then the City Council will adopt the plan without modification, according to city code. The first district elections will occur in 2021.