Return to wards?

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2003

When the CBJ Charter was drawn up in the late '60s or early '70s, one of the good things about it was that differences in populations between election districts for municipal elections were not a factor because to be elected a candidate had to gain the majority of votes from the whole municipality. The initial election districts were as follows: District 1 the old city of Juneau (boundaries which ran from the rock dump to Norway Point and included West Juneau), District 2 the old city of Douglas and District 3, the remainder of the former Greater Juneau Borough. Obviously these districts had population figures that varied by more than 10 percent.

Since 1970, the boundaries have changed but candidates are still elected by the entire borough, not just the district they live in. One of the reasons for the borough-wide election of each Assembly member was to avoid wards, where all a politician has to do to keep his/her seat is keep his ward happy; to heck with what's good for the community as a whole! What happened?

Roger Allington

Bellevue, Wash.

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