The Grays Harbor County Commissioners met with commissioners from the Port of Grays Harbor and PUD on Wednesday to continue the debate on the re-districting of Grays Harbor. County Auditor Vern Spatz told the officials that every census cycle; districts need to be looked at in order to accurately split the county for equal representation for the county commissioners. Currently, the district populations fluctuate by over 1000 in areas.
Spatz told the panel that over the past several census cycles, the Auditors office has maintained 3 goals for the county districts.
The first being populations in each district being split as equally as possible. The 2nd was for Central Park to be included into a single district rather than split. The third, was for Westport to separate from District 3 and be moved into District 2 as to include it with the rest of the region south of the bay.
3 alternative districts maps were presented to the panel. Each changed slightly from the current districts. The preferred alternative meets all of the goals of the auditor’s office, but moved PUD Commissioner Dave Timmons outside his original district, which would effectively remove him from the position he was voted into.
Westport Mayor Michael Bruce and Cosmopolis Mayor Vickie Raines were in attendance and agreed with the commissioners that an alternative with less drastic changes was needed.
In the end, it came down to a statement from Spatz that brought the entire panel of commissioners into agreement.
Spatz told the panel that there is no legal obligation to maintain the goals beyond creating an equal dispersement of population, and he can send his team of GIS professionals back to the drawing board for more alternatives.