County residents moved to new districts
Leavenworth County Commissioners last week shifted four precincts into new commission districts.
The move was required to even out the number of people living in each of the three commission districts. Growth in the southern portion of the county during the past 10 years meant that the Third District contained nearly 7,000 more people than the First District.
Now, the Third District is smaller than the other two.
"It leaves the Third District a little bit light, but it will grow into it very quickly," said Don Navinsky, who represents the First District.
Last week, commissioners:
Moved two precincts in the city of Leavenworth from the Second District into the First District. Those precincts the first and fourth precincts of the sixth ward include 3,483 people, according to the 2000 U.S. Census. Bob Adams, a Leavenworth resident, represents the Second District.
Moved two wards in the city of Lansing from the Third District into the Second District. The third and fourth wards include 4,305 people, according to the 2000 Census. Joe Daniels Jr., a rural Basehor resident, represents the Third District, which includes the Tonganoxie area.
Navinsky, the lone Democrat on the commission, said he picked up more Republicans.
"We did not gerrymander," he said. "If I wanted to pick numbers, that's not the way I would have done it."
Leavenworth residents represents about 84 percent of Navinsky's district.
"About 3,500 constituents is a lot of difference," he said. "We didn't add those people at Fort Leavenworth into any one district. But those people at the fort who actually vote, vote in my district, so my district is a little bit bigger than that."
State law requires that commission districts be as equal and compact as possible, according to David Van Parys, county counselor. In redistricting, voting precincts cannot be split.
Also last week, commissioners, on a 2-0 vote, approved Adams as chairman for the year. Adams abstained on the vote.