Coeur d'Alene city councilman John Bruning is the first to testify at the Idaho bipartisan citizens' redistricting commission's public hearing tonight in Coeur d'Alene, which follows a hearing this afternoon in Sandpoint. “Thank you for holding hearings in North Idaho,” Bruning told the commission. He noted that his city's population grew by more than 9,600 people in the past decade, nearly 28 percent growth since 2000. “Coeur d'Alene grew at a faster pace than the overall state of Idaho, for many good reasons,” Bruning told the commission, “among them a healthy business climate, a good place to live, a caring community … a desirable place to call home.” Speaking for the whole city council and the mayor, Bruning urged the commission to keep Coeur d'Alene and other cities whole in redistricting, rather than dividing them among legislative districts. Given the numbers, Bruning said, “Keeping Coeur d'Alene whole in redistricting is not just sensible, it is almost mathematically perfect.”
Commission Co-Chairman Evan Frasure noted that using exact city limits as legislative district lines can be problematic when the lines move due to annexation and previously unbuilt land gets developed; that's how Ada County ended up with district lines running through the middle of some people's homes. You can listen to the hearing live here. Tomorrow, the commission will hold public hearings in Moscow and Lewiston; there's more info here.