SVSD’s original redistricting proposal hit the internet on April 22nd. Suffice to say, that proposal was not well received. The plan’s opposition voiced its displeasure at a public comment meeting on April 28th. At that same meeting, a Citizen’s Redistricting Proposal was presented as a “counter-offer.” Almost one month later, after many discussions, emails and significant plan alternations, the SVSD School Board is finally voting to officially adopt a redistricting proposal. A plan seen as a compromise between the original and citizen’s plan.
In the new plan, the citizen proposal’s boundary lines are not adopted, only its driving concept – the infamous 2,2,1 school board structure that mirrors valley population centers. This plan gives North Bend 2 board seats, Fall City and Snoqualmie each one “pure” board seat and one shared seat between Snoqulamie Ridge and the Lake Alice area. The plan eliminates one director district in North Bend and moves it to Snoqualmie – epicenter of population growth. That seat is not available to a Snoqualmie candidate until 2014, though. As board members are elected by and charged with representing the whole school district, state statute says sitting board members can serve out terms if a seat is lost to redistricting. Marci Busby and Scott Hodgins would reside in the same district, but their terms do not expire until 12/31/2013. Hodgins has stated he still has goals to meet and won’t step down early. No word if he would consider running against Marci to continue serving past 2013.
The two-year delay to seat the new Snoqualmie district is a sticking point with many residents. Overriding sentiment is that the school board is saying (with its new plan) that Snoqualmie deserves assured school board representation. If the board agrees by adopting the plan, many feel delaying that new seat is unfair. They want balanced school board representation now, as Snoqualmie is 2/5 of the district’s population. Nearly 250 Snoqualmie residents signed a letter to the school board urging it to seat their new district now – not in two years. That letter will be presented to the school board today. Throughout the redistricting process, the school board has shown responsiveness to public opinion.
The school board meets tonight, May 26th, at 7:30PM at the district office, 8001 Silva Ave SE. The board’s redistricting vote is the last agenda item. Citizens arriving late are still allowed to enter the meeting.