LAS CRUCES – The public is invited to provide feedback on how the Doña Ana County’s commission districts are being redrawn.
The District Commissioner Committee will vote on the proposed redistribution cards on November 23rd. In the meantime, citizens can take a survey online by choosing which of the three proposed cards they prefer.
The new political boundaries are drawn every 10 years in response to new census data. The aim is for each district to have the same population, which is represented by a single commissioner on the five-member district board.
“The principles of redistribution include keeping interest groups together, protecting minority groups and being compact,” the district said in a press release. “The district maps were refined throughout the process based on public input and attempts by commissioners to maintain continuity in the districts and not to separate interest groups as much as possible.”
That year, the county said each county should have 43,912 residents within a 5 percent variance. The results of the 2020 census showed that Doña Ana county has grown by 10,328 people, or 4.9 percent, over the past decade.
District 4 of the County Commission, currently represented by Susana Chaparro, had the fastest population growth of the five counties, growing 28 percent in ten years.
Research and Polling was the company hired by the county to provide professional redistribution services. The deadline for the district to accept a new card is the end of 2021.
The three card concepts were narrowed down from several options. Concept F, one of the three options, looks most similar to the current county map. In F, Chaparral would be relocated from District 2 to District 3, and Picacho Hills and Doña Ana Village will be kept in their own districts.
Concept E is the most diverse possible map layout of the three and creates two districts, 3 and 4, which are entirely located in Las Cruces. The rest of Las Cruces would be divided among the other boroughs. District 1 would preserve all of the Picacho Hills and expand east to include Talavera and White Sands south of US 70. District 5 would occupy Organ north of US 70 and retain San Ysidro, Doña Ana, Radium Springs, Salem, Hatch and Garfield.
The third option proposed by District 3 Commissioner Shannon Reynolds divides Mesilla into two districts. District 3 loses parts of downtown Las Cruces but retains the University District and Tortugas, and 3 wins Chaparral, Mesquite, Berino, and Vado. District 2 moves north to US 70, District 1 retains Fairacres and Picacho Hills and gets downtown Las Cruces and part of the Sonoma Ranch, and District 5 gets all of Doña Ana.
Aside from the survey, public contributions can be made to [email protected], through the district’s Facebook page, or by attending the district committee meeting on November 23 at 9:00 am at 845 N. Motel Blvd. in Las Cruces. You can find the survey at https://survey.app.do/donaanadistricts.
Michael McDevitt is the city and county government reporter for Sun News. He can be reached at 575-202-3205, [email protected] or @MikeMcDTweets on Twitter.