STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
COLORADO REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION
|Time:||07:03 PM to 09:30 PM|
|Place:||Colorado Mesa University - Grand Junction|
|This Meeting was called to order by|
|This Report was prepared by|
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Note: This meeting summary is not an official record of the commission or of the meeting. It is not intended to serve as a transcript or minutes of the commission meeting. The audio recording of the meeting is the official record of the meeting. This summary may be used as a guide to the audio recording. To access the audio recording of a commission meeting, visit the Colorado Joint Legislative Library located in the State Capitol, Room 048 (basement/ground floor level). You will need to note the date, time, and location of the meeting to access the audio recording. Copies of the audio recordings may be obtained at the library if you bring with you blank, recordable compact discs or a flash drive. Librarians are on site and available to assist you with accessing an audio recording.
|Bills Addressed: ||Action Taken:|
|Welcome and Introductions|
Public Testimony - Grand Junction
7:03 PM -- Welcome and Introductions
Commissioner Berry, chair, called the meeting to order and made opening remarks. Troy Bratton, Colorado Reapportionment Commission Staff, read an introductory statement about the commission.
Commissioner Berry stressed that the map being considered is preliminary and subject to change. Each of the commissioners introduced themselves.
7:12 PM -- Public Testimony - Grand Junction
The following individuals testified:
7:12 PM -- Arthur Gardner, representing himself, expressed support for the proposed House districts that include Grand Junction. He indicated that the proposed House District 55 is logical. He spoke about problems he has with the labels in the Mesa County zoom in H3002v2. He expressed his dissatisfaction with the unavailability of color copies of maps for members of the public. He continued to comment about concerns he has with the labeling of the map. He indicated that he does not approve of H3003v1. Discussion ensued about maps that have not been preliminarily adopted. Mr. Gardner continued to talk about maps that have not been preliminarily adopted and express his disapproval of each map. He responded to questions from the commissioners about the borders of House Districts 54 and 55.
7:29 PM -- Kevin McCarney, representing himself, expressed his opinion that the Western Slope is ignored by the state government. He asked if voting patterns from 2008 and 2010 have been analyzed and taken into consideration in the redistricting process. He stated his opinion that the process of redistricting will overturn the 2010 election and diminish the voice of Republicans on the Western Slope. Commissioner Carroll commented about the political summary report for each map that was submitted. Discussion ensued about the competitiveness of districts across the state.
Commissioner Nicolais commented about the redistricting priorities of the commission. Discussion continued about the competitiveness of districts in the statewide preliminary adopted map.
7:44 PM -- Tim Fenwick, representing the Grand Junction Result Tea Party, spoke about the importance of Delta to Grand Junction. He discussed the transportation routes between Mesa, Delta, and Montrose counties. He expressed his opinion that the citizens of Delta are hard-working and friendly and those of Aspen are not. He spoke about the various economic and demographic characteristics of the citizens of Delta and Aspen. Mr. Fenwick responded to questions from the commission about the most appropriate combinations of counties. He commented extensively about the new energy economy.
7:51 PM -- Don Suppes, representing the Delta County Republican Party and the town of Orchard City, expressed his opinion that Delta County should not be combined with Pitkin County. He indicated that coal mines should not be included in a district centered in Pitkin County. Mr. Suppes responded to questions from the commission about the most appropriate and natural split in Delta County. He indicated that the current split in Delta County is the best option. He stated his opinion that splitting Delta County three ways is ludicrous. He continued to respond to questions from the commission about options for splitting Delta County.
7:58 PM -- Jerry Shelton, representing himself, expressed his opinion that Delta and Montrose counties should be combined and that the city of Grand Junction should comprise its own House districts. He spoke about the different concerns of the rural areas of Mesa, Delta, and Montrose counties versus the urban areas of those counties.
8:02 PM -- Heidi Hess, representing herself, spoke about the distinct differences between rural and urban areas. She expressed support for creating one House district for the city of Grand Junction. She responded to questions from the commission about the natural commonalities between Delta and Montrose.
8:07 PM -- Representative Laura Bradford, representing House District 55, spoke about H3003v1, which creates a House District for the city of Grand Junction with a House District surrounding Grand Junction. She expressed support for the least amount of change possible to House District 55. She indicated that the citizens of Grand Junction benefit from having two representatives in the state House of Representatives. She stated her opinion that keeping House Districts 54 and 55 competitive is preferable to her and important for the area. Representative Bradford spoke about the distinct communities in Mesa County. She commented that Grand Junction is used to being split and does not need to change. She responded to questions from the commission about the Hobbs decision and discussion ensued about the reasons for the competitiveness about House District 55.
8:25 PM -- Carlyle Currier, representing himself, addressed his desire to keep the agricultural community whole in Mesa County. He explained the diversity of agriculture in the area. The economy of Grand Junction is based on energy, and supportive of agriculture. Mr. Currier stated his opinion that the current districts work well and a donut district around the city would not be good. He discussed reasons why Delta County should not be combined with Pitkin County. He commented about the interests of farmers and ranchers in Grand and Jackson counties. He responded to questions from the commission about the needs of Grand County. Mr. Currier discussed his opinion about the importance to the agricultural community of rural-only representation versus a mixture of rural and urban representation. Discussion ensued about agricultural representation in government.
8:38 PM -- Robert Erbisch, representing himself, spoke about his value system and lifestyle and how those things are tied to his home in Fruita. He expressed support for a lack of government intrusion in his life. He indicated that Delta County should not be split. He urged the commission to respect individuals who choose to live in rural areas and allow those individuals to vote together in a block. In response to questions from the commission, Mr. Erbisch discussed changes in Fruita over the last 30 years. He continued to stress the importance of rural values.
8:46 PM -- Tom Keenan, representing himself, reiterated the testimony of Mr. Erbisch with regard to rural values. He discussed the independent nature of voters in Mesa County and the differences between Aspen and the rest of the Western Slope. He expressed his opinion that a donut district around the city of Grand Junction would not be workable. Mr. Erbisch responded to questions from the commission about the Hobbs decision in In re Reapportionment of the Colo. Gen. Assembly, 45 P.3d 1237 (Colo. 2002).
8:52 PM -- Michael Lentz, representing himself, expressed concerns about the splits in Delta County. He generally supported the statewide preliminary adopted House plan, but expressed doubts about the combination of Delta and Pitkin counties in one House district.
8:56 PM -- Lois Dunn, representing herself, spoke about the business interests between Mesa and Delta counties. She expressed her opinion that a donut district around the city of Grand Junction would not be advisable and urged the commission to keep House Districts 54 and 55 as close as possible to their current boundaries. She discussed the small number of seats in the General Assembly that represent the rural areas of the Western Slope. Ms. Dunn responded to questions from the commission.
9:03 PM -- Jana Gerow, representing herself, asked questions about the composition of the maps provided to the public. Discussion ensued about the most appropriate district for Pitkin County. Ms. Gerow expressed her opinion that elected officials should represent their district rather than their party affiliation.
9:09 PM -- Rob Rideout, representing himself, spoke about the notion of a donut district around the city of Grand Junction and expressed his opinion that such a scenario is not preferable. Discussion ensued about constitutional mandate for keeping counties and cities whole during the redistricting process.
9:16 PM -- Mr. Fenwick returned to the table to discuss the dangers in traveling the roads of Mesa County. He expressed his opinion that a donut district around Grand Junction would be dangerous for the individual elected to represent such a district.
9:19 PM -- Mr. Gardner returned to the table to ask questions about the Supreme Court-mandated criterion for redistricting. Discussion ensued about the Hobbs decision and whether the commission is required to follow it to the letter.
Commissioners Berry and Carrera thanked everyone for coming. The commission adjourned.