Petersburg Pilot -


City files response over redistricting


Petersburg's attorney on Monday filed a response in Superior Court regarding the city's inclusion into the newly formed House District 32.

“Today, we filed our request that the court take another look at District 32 and reverse the decision it made last year,” City Attorney Thomas F. Klinker told the City Council via phone.

The 25-page brief, which names Counselors Mark Jensen and Nancy Strand as plaintiffs, claims the Alaska Redistricting Board “failed to take the required 'hard look' regarding what districting of Southeast Alaska best met the requirements of Alaska Constitution Article VI.”

The new map has Petersburg in HD 32 with Juneau, however City officials want to remain in a district with Sitka. The state constitution requires that districts be compact. The current district lines don't comply with the state requirement, the City claims.

Last week the court allowed responses against the Amended Proclamation Plan, which the board adopted on March 31.

“Given the expedited schedule in which the court requested opposition be filed, I expect we will have an early decision from the court on what it chooses to do about the new plan,” Klinker said. “It's either back to the board for further work, or back up to the Supreme Court again.”

The council voted in an earlier meeting to allow City Manager Steve Giesbrecht to spend up to $20,000 in legal fees if a new suit is filed. The city spent $30,000 in its case last year.

In the latest plan, the board made changes to the Aleutians, the Interior, and other parts of Alaska, but made no changes to Southeast.


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