Woodbury Sets New Precinct Lines
The city will now have one additional precinct, following the Woodbury City Council's approval Wednesday night.
At the state level, it took months for a judicial panel to sort out redistricting proposals.
In Woodbury, they left it to the city clerk, and the city council approved the changes in a matter of minutes.
Kim Blaeser gave a quick rundown of how she redrew the city’s precinct boundaries, and the Woodbury City Council unanimously approved the changes Wednesday night.
Because of the population growth in the city over the past decade, Woodbury now has one new precinct, bringing the total number up to 16, Blaeser said. (Redistricting is done every 10 years in conjunction with the U.S. Census.)
Blaeser talked about how precincts must not cross legislative or congressional lines, and generally follow major landmarks and not split up neighborhoods, if possible.
The work was made somewhat easier because Woodbury is now entirely within one congressional district, Blaeser said. The southern, mostly undeveloped, portion of Woodbury used to be part of the 2nd District.
The council did slightly tweak Blaeser’s proposal.
“The lines look fine,” Councilman Christopher Burns said.
But he suggested changing the precinct numbers so they are sequential within Woodbury’s two House districts, 53A and 53B—generally split along Radio Drive with the line bending west as it approaches the southern part of the city.
Burns said it would be easier for political caucuses to communicate polling locations to residents if 53A included precincts 1-6 and 53B had 7-16.
“That makes a lot of sense to me,” Councilwoman Amy Scoggins said.
The rest of the council agreed, and passed the revised boundaries 4-0. (Councilman Paul Rebholz was absent.)
Blaeser said she would provide Patch with a new map once the state approves the changes, which should be in the next day or two.
Up next, the city must establish polling places by May 16, though Blaeser said most of the locations would remain the same.
Kevin Corbid, Washington County deputy administrator, formerly the head of elections and taxpayer services, attended Wednesday’s council meeting.
He said Woodbury’s new precinct map looks good, and he lauded Blaeser for her work.
Washington County is planning three meetings in April about its commissioner boundaries, some of which will have to lose residents while others will gain. District 5, which includes the bulk of Woodbury and is represented by Lisa Weik, will likely have to add residents, Corbid said.
The county board this week held a public hearing on the proposed changes, though no one addressed the commissioners.
There had been some talk of adding two new commissioners to the board, but officials opted to remain at five, according to a release from the county. The board is set to approve the new district boundaries by April 17, so it may comply with a deadline for redistricting soil and water conservation districts at the same time.