Redistricting board selects top staff

Posted: Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Alaska Redistricting Board has a tentatively selected an executive director for the state's redistricting effort after meeting in executive session in Anchorage, Board Chair John Torgerson said Friday.

An announcement is likely to come as soon as Monday, he said.

"We've got a few things to clarify yet," Torgerson said.

"There are some questions that need to be asked of the candidate," he said.

The redistricting commission is made up of five members, four Republicans and one Democrat, appointed by the Governor, legislative leaders and the Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court. The commission's job is to draw new legislative boundaries after the decennial census data is made public in the next year, adapting to changes in population around the state.

The state's last Redistricting Board, from 2000, chose Juneau's Gordon Harrison as its executive director. It was based in Juneau, but this decade's board has located its office in Anchorage.

The announcement of the new executive director will likely be made about mid-day Monday with the assistance of the governor's office, Torgerson said.

Torgerson, a former state senator from Kasilof, apologized for the board's somewhat improvised process, which he attributed to its creation just a few weeks ago.

"We're in a position where we don't even have letterhead yet," he said.

Torgerson said he has the authority from the full board to offer the executive director to the board's preferred candidate as soon as the additional questions are asked and issues clarified.

The board also has to select a law firm to represent it, as redistricing efforts often wind up in court.

• Contact reporter Pat Forgey at 523-2250 or patrick.forgey@juneauempire.com.



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