Redistricting shuffles Murray leadersFeb 07, 2022 01:58PM ● By Shaun Delliskave
The approved map for Murray City School District precincts. (Photo courtesy Murray City)
By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]
What do Murray Park, the Salt Lake Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple, and the Maverik Center all have in common? Besides being in Utah, they all fit into Utah State School Board District 5, into which most of Murray has been redistricted.
Census data required state legislators to redraw congressional, state legislative, and school board boundaries. Likewise, Murray City Council approved changes to its city council districts and Murray City School District precincts. Changes to Granite School District precincts, if any, were not announced.
The governor signed off on the bills to update election boundaries in November. Elections in the fall may mean Murray voters will see new representation in the Utah State House and Senate races.
Still split between two School Board boundaries, the majority of Murray falls in District 5. The southeast quadrant of Murray will vote on a member for State School Board District 7, which stretches from Alta in the east to the Point of the Mountain in the south.
State legislators split Murray between two congressional districts. Formerly, Murray fell entirely within Utah’s Congressional District 3. Murrayites who live east of 900 East will vote in District 3, incumbent Republican John Curtis’ district based on his residence. Most of Murray will still lie in Congressional District 4, the seat held by incumbent Republican Rep. Burgess Owens, who resides in that district.
Murray will see its state Senate leaders shift too. Murray will be divided between senate districts 13 and 14. Westside Murray will retain Democrat Gene Davis as its senator, who was re-elected in 2018. Murray could see Democrat Sen. Jani Iwamoto, who has a sliver of east Murray in her district, represent Murray on the east of State Street; her term ends in 2023.
Murray will lose Sen. Kathleen Riebe; her district has shifted further south.
As for the State House of Representatives, Murray may lose a representative since Democrat Rep. Karen Kwan’s district shifted southward. District 35, in which incumbent Democrat Rep. Mark Wheatley resides, will encompasses most of Murray. Democrat Rep. Andrew Stoddard, who resides in District 40, will represent south-central Murray.
Also, 900 East now marks the boundary of Murray’s four districts. Democrat Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, who resides in District 34, will see her district shift further east. Democrat Gay Lynn Bennion, who resides in District 41, will see her district extend further west to 900 East. Residents in District 41 will vote with Cottonwood Heights and Alta residents.
Murray City Council and School District
City Recorder Brooke Smith presented plans for Murray City Councilors to consider for council districts and Murray City School Board. Northern Murray had the greatest influx of residents over the past 10 years. Smith was tasked with keeping each of Murray’s five districts and precincts within an average of 10,127 residents per district (five districts divided by a total population of 50,635).
Council District 1, represented by Kat Martinez, had 12,450 residents living in it under the old boundaries drawn in 2012. By contrast, Council District 2, represented by Pam Cotter, previously had 8,984 residents, by far the least populated in the city.
“Our goal with redistricting was to try to even out those areas and create a map that was a little bit more succinct, with equal boundaries, and make it look a little bit cleaner. Our first proposal that you saw on Dec. 7—because Council District 1 had the most population—we had to remove some of the area in that district and then redistribute it into the other four areas,” Smith said.
City Councilor Rosalba Dominguez requested a second draft to incorporate more of her district to State Street. To adjust for this, Smith moved District 1’s boundaries to border Cottonwood Street.
A public hearing was held at the city council meeting on Jan. 4 to review and approve the new maps.
“I just want to say… I thought the initial map was great, but I appreciated the change. I think it does make sense for District 1 to stay below State Street, demographic-wise, and I think the population makes sense distribution-wise,” Martinez said.
As Murray has both Granite and Murray School Districts, Smith had to present a separate map for just Murray School District. Murray City does not change Granite’s boundaries. Granite precinct 3 covers all of the school district falling within Murray’s boundaries.
“(Murray School District) precinct 1 did have the greatest population growth, so we did have to cut the area and then redistribute the population. But this area (Walden Hills subdivision) we did have to leave in because Glo Merrill, who is the current representative, does live in that neighborhood. So, we left that in there to move forward,” Smith said.
The city council passed both maps unanimously.