County Redistricting Plan Concerns Finn Hill Residents

New boundaries would split the recently annexed area away from the rest of Kirkland and District 6, putting it into District 1 to the north.

Some Finn Hill residents are expressing concern about a redistricting plan that would split the area from King County Council District 6, which includes the rest of Kirkland, and move it into District 1 to the north.

A committee was appointed earlier this year to redraw the county districts and balance their populations based on the 2010 federal census. Last week Districting Master John Schlosser submitted his plan, which made only minor changes to an earlier proposal by the committee and included the Finn Hill move (see attached map).

“I’m concerned because we've just been annexed by Kirkland, and that process is not completely over,” said Scott Morris, speaking as a Finn Hill resident and not in his capacity as president of the Denny Creek Neighborhood Association.

“I think it would be a mistake to send Finn Hill to District 1, at least right now.”

Morris noted that , the County Council incumbent from Bellevue who is up for re-election against challenger of Mercer Island, would no longer represent Finn Hill, but has been a key figure throughout the process of annexation, which took effect on June 1. Hague has also been active in many other Finn Hill issues, including the acquisition as public land of the Juanita Woodlands, and projects to improve fish habitat on Denny Creek.

If Finn Hill were moved into District 1, it would be represented by Councilman Bob Ferguson.

The last chance for the public to comment on the plan is at a public hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 6:30 p.m., in the County Council chambers on the 10th floor of the county courthouse at 516 Third Ave. in Seattle.

You can also comment online via the committee’s website at http://www.kingcounty.gov/operations/districting/testimony.aspx, but comments are due by Tuesday, Nov. 1.

Details about the plan can be found on the committee’s website: http://www.kingcounty.gov/operations/districting.aspx.

Art Valla November 01, 2011 at 03:30 PM
Councilman Bob Ferguson is an incompetent twit. Giving that man a larger area does a disservice to those he already poorly represents. I am quite sure he has no idea where Finn Hill is and has never heard of Juanita Drive.
Jeff Hoerth November 01, 2011 at 07:07 PM
I can't speak to Mr. Ferguson's competence and his run for attorney general, if successful, would negate his impact. But it seems as if slipping Finn Hill into District 1 was just a way to equalize the population. The redistricting committee made an effort to leave each of the 9 districts with nearly identical 214,000 populations. Why? Does it really matter if District 6 has 15,000 more people? The mission of the committee as expressed on the county website says nothing about making each district have the same population. We don't know the outcome of the Hague-Mitchell election but if Hague is re-elected, it seems like a waste of time for another councilmember to have to learn about Finn Hill after all the time Hague has invested in this area. And at the public hearings this summer, one person after another testified on how important it was to keep their communities intact. 32nd District State Rep. Cindy Ryu, whose territory also includes Finn Hill, made the same argument for Shoreline though not mentioning Finn Hill at all in her testimony. Seems like cities of Bothell, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park got their wishes but nobody testified at public hearings representing Kirkland to make the case for Kirkland staying intact. So the squeaky wheels got their way. We needed to squeak. Tonight's hearing is our last chance to do so. Attend in person or squeak your comments to the website today.
Tom Fitzpatrick November 01, 2011 at 07:54 PM
Redistricting is supposed to result in districts with near-equal population (per the Warren Court's "one person-one vote" ruling in the 1962 Baker v Carr decision. Sometimes this conflicts with other goals, such as keeping communities intact (laudable) or incumbent protection (not so much).
Rose Marie November 07, 2011 at 01:06 AM
Here is another case of King County not thinking about what is good for the area it changes; They don't care about the Finn Hill area and never have. The latest example was trying to put a fire station in a park area and cutting old growth trees. As well as asking bike riders before residents about putting a parking lot in the park, cutting down more trees. They did not get their way that time because we found out before hand. Now they are forcing their way again. Just leave FINN Hill in district 6, How much does it matter to the King County talking heads.


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