TOPEKA CITY HALL -- Deputy Mayor Larry Wolgast has announced the names of the nine-member Council redistricting commission charged with redrawing the nine council district boundary lines. Their first meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m., August 2nd, in the first floor conference room, City Hall, 215 SE 7th Street in Topeka.
Members are: District 1, Erin Stiers; District 2, John Campos II; District 3, Jack Alexander; District 4, John Nave; District 5, Bob Beatty; District 6, Tom Benaka; District 7, Neil Dobler; District 8, Nathan Schmidt; and District 9, Claudia Perney.
“I am pleased with the high quality of the appointments by the Council members and look forward to receiving their recommendation,” Wolgast said.
The City of Topeka governing charter provides that every 10 years a Commission of Electors is appointed by the City Council to review the council districts and recommend to the Council any changes in the district boundary lines to maintain compliance with provisions outlined in the charter. The 10-year cycle allows the Commission to account for changes in the population as determined by the most recent U.S. census.
Also known as the “Redistricting Commission,” the Commission of Electors strives to maintain as nearly as possible the goal that each district contains one-ninth of the City’s population. The Commission’s recommendations are advisory, as the ultimate decision regarding any changes in the district boundaries rests with the City Council.
The Commission has until September 30th to make its recommendation to the Council and the Council has until December 31st to reestablish district boundaries.
The City Clerk will serve as temporary chairperson at the first meeting at which time a permanent chairperson will be chosen. Procedures for establishing district boundaries and the scheduling of a public meeting are also on the first meeting agenda.