Douglas school board approves redistricting
ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. – At their Tuesday meeting, the Douglas County School Board voted unanimously to rearrange the districts from which board members are elected.
With the new arrangement of voting precincts, the board managed to assuage concerns of member Cynthia Trigg that at least one member of the board live in the Lake Tahoe portion of Douglas County.
Each of the seven members of the school board is elected from a district within the county. After each census, the school board must revamp the boundaries of the seven districts so each board member represents roughly the same number of people.
Trigg, who’s up for reelection in 2012, was outraged when the county clerk rearranged the districts so that the Lake Tahoe portion of Douglas County wasn’t its own district.
The proposed redistricting would’ve allowed people who do not live at Lake Tahoe to run against candidates who do for that seat on the board. In essence, the proposed changes could’ve resulted in a school board composed solely of members who live in Carson Valley.
“I feel that it’s absolutely necessary for someone who lives at Lake Tahoe to represent the constituents at Lake Tahoe,” Trigg told the board Tuesday night. “I do believe there’s a great deal of difference between our schools.”
After the criticism from Trigg, Douglas County Clerk Ted Thran revised the proposed voting map so that the Douglas County portion of Lake Tahoe comprised its own district, though the population of that district is 11.8 percent below ideal. With the 2010 census numbers, the Douglas County portion of Lake Tahoe hardly has enough population to constitute a district.
If the trend of decreasing population in the area continues as it did between 2000 and 2010, this will likely be the last time the Douglas County School Board will be able to keep the Lake Tahoe district without adding a portion of the Carson Valley.
“Realistically, this is probably the last time this will be done,” said board member Thomas Moore.
The population of each district should be within 10 percent of the other districts. As the difference in population between districts increases, the school board becomes more and more vulnerable to federal voters’ rights lawsuits.
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