Archive for Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Commission to redraw districts

January 16, 2002

Substantial growth in the southern portion of the county is forcing the Leavenworth County Commission to make changes to the county's three voting districts.

The County Commission was scheduled to make the redistricting decision earlier in the week, but has postponed the decision until Thursday, Jan. 17.

Leavenworth County Commissioner Joe Daniels, who represents the third district, covering areas such as Lansing, Basehor, Linwood and Tonganoxie, said he would probably have to give up some of his district.

"We want everyone in the county to be represented "We want everyone in the county to be represented equally," Daniels said.

Daniels could lose a precinct or two in Lansing because of the redistricting, which is directly linked to the growth in southern Leavenworth County.

"There has been some growth there that has made that area bigger than the others," he said.

County officials said they hoped to even out the three districts to approximately 19,115 people per district.

According to the Leavenworth County Clerk's Office, there are 57,345 county residents, based on the 2000 census.

That figure excludes the Fort Leavenworth Military Base, the Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary and the Lansing Correctional Facility, county officials said.

"That is based on the assumption that those in the prison or at the fort do not maintain permanent residence here," Leavenworth County Clerk Linda Shear said.

The first district, represented by Commissioner Don Navinsky, is the smallest voting district with 15,785 people. The second district, represented by Commissioner Chairman Bob Adams, contains 18,815 people.

The third district, represented by Daniels, has 22,745 people.

"It doesn't have to be equal or perfect, we just have to even it out a little bit," Daniels said.

County officials said state law requires that districts be as equal as possible and that voting precincts cannot be split.

The County Commission will look at the redistricting and could act on a proposal Thursday.

In other County Commission news, Adams will become chairman of the Leavenworth County commissioners.

Adams, along with Daniels, is entering his second year on the commission.

The commission rotates the chairman position and it was Adams' turn. He will replace Navinsky in that role.

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