Redistricting maps finalized by San Juan County Commission

San Juan Commission and School Board boundaries were finalized at the December 21 commission meeting.

The commission approved a map recommended by their hired redistricting professional for the commission boundaries, and a map submitted by the Navajo Nation Office of Human Rights Commission (NNOHRC) for the San Juan School Board seats. View maps on page A5.

Both maps were approved by a 2-1 vote, with Commissioners Kenneth Maryboy and Willie Grayeys voting for and Commissioner Bruce Adams voting against.

The finalized maps now determine which district seat residents will vote for thru 2031.

Redistricting occurs every ten years following the US Census. Redistricting is when voting district boundaries are redrawn to make sure populations are equally represented in legislative bodies.

San Juan County was most recently redistricted in 2018 under the direction of a Federal Judge as a result of a voting rights lawsuit filed against the county by the Navajo Nation.

To help create maps, the county hired a redistricting expert, Bill Cooper who has more than 35 years of experience and served as an expert for the Navajo Nation in their lawsuit against the county.

Cooper’s proposed maps were self-described as ‘least change’ plans. The approved commission map made tweaks to the boundaries of the 2018 court-ordered map to bring populations into balance.

The map moved 4.8 percent of county residents to a new commission district, including 442 adults in Blanding and 36 adults in the Dennehotso Chapter.

The map was opposed by the Blanding City Council which asked that the 84511 zip code be placed within a single district instead of split between all three.

The commission also received a letter from the Navajo Mountain Chapter asking the commission to approve the Navajo Nation proposed commission map.

Commissioners approved the Navajo Nation recommendation for school board districts.

NNOHRC Director Leonard Gorman said previously that the school district map is intended to balance the Native American population among the majority of Indigenous districts.

The school board map does not include a portion of Spanish Valley, as students there attend school in Grand County. The residents vote for Grand County School Board seats.

Commissioner Adams proposed a map to place Eastland students in Monticello-majority district 1, instead of Montezuma Creek majority seat four, but that motion failed.

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