Johnson County Commission assesses redistribution options

OLATHE, Kan. – District boundaries in Johnson County will likely stay the same until at least 2023.

At Thursday’s meeting, the Johnson County Council of Commissioners unanimously agreed to maintain the district’s boundaries until 2023.

Johnson County is divided into six districts based on population. State law requires the commission to review district boundaries every three years to ensure that each district is as populated as possible.

The last time the county heads redistributed the commission districts was in August 2013. The last time the district boundaries were revised was in 2019, but no action was taken to redistribute districts.

Based on 2020 census data, the total population of all towns in the county has increased by about 12%. The strongest population growth over the past 10 years has been seen in the Town of Spring Hill (59% population increase from 2010), the Town of Gardner (22% population increase from 2010 ) and the city of Lenexa (population increase of 19% compared to 2010). 2010).

County staff said the goal is to have boundaries evenly divided based on the latest census data to show that each district represents about 101,644 residents.

Emily Vincent, assistant county manager, said commissioners can review district populations at any time, but the county is legally obligated to redistribute district boundaries once the population deviates by more than 10%.

“A deviation of 5% or less was considered acceptable and was the county’s goal. A range between high and low deviations of less than 10% was considered legally acceptable. Anything above 10% is considered unacceptable and a redistribution should take place, ”said Vincent.

Commission District 3, represented by Commissioner Charlotte O’Hara, is slightly outside the county’s proportion target with a deviation rate of around 5.25%.

Due to upcoming election cycles and the inability of county leaders to adjust constituencies as part of a redistribution process, 2023 would be the next time the commission is expected to review district proportions.

After the 2022 election, the commission could include several new members when reviewing district boundaries.

When the commission reviews district boundaries in 2023, county staff will compile information based on the 2020 census to project the population increase. Vincent said staff will use the Johnson County Automated Information Mapping System (AIMS) to calculate the population based on the most recent census data as well as plot information for towns in the county.

The commissioners have asked county staff to draft a resolution saying the board has no plans to reshape district lines in 2021. The commission will review the order on Oct. 14.

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