District Representation

The citizens of Castle Rock who voted in the November 2017 special election overwhelmingly supported changing from an appointed mayor to an at-large directly elected mayor.  The process to make this change was a terrific reminder of the power of our legislative process, but it also highlighted some of the problems when a complex change has to be reduced to a referendum sized block of legal text.

According to the National League of Cities, there are three main types of municipal representation, At-large, district and mixed.  By adopting this hybrid system we are definitively moving in the right direction for Castle Rock’s future.

However, a major concern throughout the whole process was the concern that with this change, was that one district would always have double representation, with a council member who is required to live within that district, and a mayor, who would also live in that district.  The Castle Rock redistricting guidelines and outcomes were focused on contiguous boundaries, similar population (current and with projections) and to avoid de-seating any currently elected official that has geographic requirements.  

2018 Castle Rock District Map

District 2 (in green) currently seems the most contorted of the districts, but it does match the criteria established.

So will any of the above districts having double representation create a real problem?  Probably.  Districts 1, 3, 5 and 6 all have minimal business properties. District 4 contains Historic Downtown Castle Rock and a large number of local businesses.  The strange boundaries of District 2 isolate 3 large residential neighborhoods, but also include the biggest national retail elements.

So a high level analysis of the make up of the districts would seem to highlight that double representation in Districts 1, 3 5 and 6 would be problematic if one or both of the representatives had a personal investment in Home Building Industries.

District 4 would have potential conflicts of interest if one or both representatives had homes and businesses within the area.

District 2 would have conflicts if one or both representatives had strong commercial property development interests, or were aligned with large retail organizations.

So due diligence on candidates and existing representation will be important when making your vote.  Double representation in a district is unavoidable with our new laws, but we should be aware of the risks certain districts pose and how that will impact Council prioritization and budgets.

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