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Commissioners approve new district maps

By Kristen Hackbarth

Washoe County’s Board of County Commissioners on Wednesday approved adoption of a redistricting map that unites Sun Valley into one district and keeps Tribal communities together. Commission members voted 3 to 1 to approve map 6, with Commissioner Jeanne Herman voting nay and Commissioner Kitty Jung absent.

In discussion of the six map options, one of which included the existing district map created after the 2010 census, Herman said she would have considered map 6 before Wednesday but didn’t offer up details on why she was no longer in favor of the option.

Commissioners Vaughn Hartung and Alexis Hill agreed that map 6 was the best option presented to balance district populations, keep Tribal communities together and address other community concerns voiced throughout the redistricting process.

Data collected in the 2020 Census show Washoe County’s population has grown by more than 65,000 in the last decade. The county’s population center also shifted, with fewer people living in old southwest Reno and more living in the northeast communities of Spanish Springs, North Valleys, Sun Valley and Hungry Valley.

In redrawing district maps officials must work to balance the population within each district so that there is no more than a 10% deviation between districts. The existing maps no longer met that requirement.

The new approved map moves Wadsworth, a Tribal community, into Herman’s District 5 and brings the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and Reno-Sparks Indian Colony within the same district.

Mogul and Verdi in west Reno were shifted from District 5 to Hill’s District 1, which stretches along the southwestern edge of the county and includes Incline Village/Crystal Bay and west Reno.

District 4, represented by Hartung, is the lightest on population at just over 94,000 after eastern portions of the district shifted to District 5. Commission Chair Bob Lucey said he doesn’t think District 4 will remain smaller for long.

“I’m no crystal ball, but I believe Commission District 4 will grow significantly to be one of the most densely populated commission districts in the future and I think that will make a big, big difference going forward,” Lucey said.  

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