Clallam County eyes new district borders

Five-member commission to draw boundaries

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County commissioners have selected representatives for a commission that will re-draw district boundaries based on the 2020 U.S. Census.

Commissioners announced their selections Monday and will make the formal appointments next Tuesday.

A five-member districting commission is appointed every 10 years to adjust the boundaries of the three commissioner districts based on the results of the decennial census.

The Clallam County Charter requires that each commissioner and the two major political parties appoint one representative to the panel.

“Each of the political parties has made their formal recommendation, so I’d love to get this group kicked off,” Board Chairman Mark Ozias said in a Monday meeting.

Commissioner districts are divided by north-sound borders in Clallam County.

The population of the largest district cannot exceed the population of the small district by more than 5 percent, and voting precincts must remain within the same district to the maximum extent possible, according to the charter.

County officials have said the boundaries would likely shift to the east this year, as they did in 2001 and 2011, because of population growth in the Sequim area.

Ozias, who represents east-county District 1, said he planed to appoint Walter Livingston to the Districting Commission.

“He had a career working in the Department of Veterans Affairs for 25 years, has a master’s in education and taught middle school math,” Ozias said in a board work session.

“I think that his background is going to be very well-suited for this work.”

Commissioner Randy Johnson said he would appoint John Teichert as the District 2 representative. Central-county District 2 runs between Boyce Road in Carlsborg and Valley Creek in Port Angeles.

“John’s been involved in all kinds of things,” Johnson said.

“He’s an architect. He was also in the Boys & Girls Club and on and on, just a great person.”

District 3 Commissioner Bill Peach said he would appoint Brad Collins to the commission.

“He has experience on the Port Angeles City Council, and politically he’s an independent,” Peach said.

Each commissioner said they received multiple applications from well-qualified candidates.

The Clallam County Democratic Party has appointed Beverly Hetrick-Oosterveld to the commission. Hetrick-Oosterveld is precinct committee officer for the Elk precinct near Sequim, according to the Clallam County Democrats webpage.

The Clallam County Republican Party has appointed Jim McEntire to the Districting Commission. McEntire, also of Sequim, is a former Clallam County commissioner and Port of Port Angeles commissioner.

Political parties whose candidates collect at least 5 percent of the presidential election vote can appoint one representative to the districting commission, Civil Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Elizabeth Stanley has said.

No other political party had a candidate who received more than 2 percent of the Clallam County vote last November.

The districting commission will hold an initial meeting within 15 days of its appointment, Clerk of the Board Loni Gores said.

One of its first tasks will be to hire a districting master, who will propose new boundaries based on 2020 census figures.

“We’re going to have the former chair, John Marrs, speak for a few minutes to share experiences from last time around to try and set this group up for success,” Ozias said.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

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