Montrose, CO — City Councilors voted unanimously Tuesday to approve slight changes to City Council district boundaries to account for an increase in city population following the release of 2020 Census data earlier this year.
The Montrose City Charter directs the council to adjust the district boundaries within one year of the publication of the latest census data. In this case, the 2020 Census was released in August 2021, making August 2022 the deadline to modify district boundaries..
According to City Clerk Lisa DelPiccolo, Article I, Section 13 of the Charter of the City of Montrose states "the City Council shall divide the city by ordinance into four council districts of approximately equal population, to be numbered 1 through 4 ..." The charter further states that district boundaries shall be adjusted from time to time by the City Council as required to maintain approximately equal populations in each district and that “such an adjustment shall be made within one year following the publication of the results of each United States Decennial Census."
At the November 1, 2021, work session, the council was presented with the current City Council district map showing the population for each district, along with six new options for adjusting the boundaries as required by the City Charter.
The total population of the City of Montrose, according to the 2020 Census, is 20,293, which sets a target of 5,073 per district.
On November 16, 2021, the council unanimously passed Ordinance 2571 on first reading and selected "Option 7" as the updated City Council district map.
An ordinance brought before the City Council must have a vote of approval on both a first and second reading of the ordinance.
Ordinance 2571 was passed unanimously on second reading Tuesday, which will make the new district map official at the start of 2022.
Pursuant to the City Charter, if the City Council desires to make district adjustments effective for the April 2022 municipal election, the adjustments must be adopted prior to Tuesday, January 4, which is the first day that nomination petitions may be circulated for that election.
The City Charter also outlines that the council may adjust the boundaries prior to the next municipal election, but is not required to do so.
Earlier this year, councilors said it would make sense to make the adjustments before the spring 2022 municipal election, rather then after.
The City Charter states, "changes in district boundaries shall not be effective for any election unless adopted prior to the time petitions for nominations may be circulated for that election. Nomination petitions for all Councilors shall be signed by at least 25 registered electors residing anywhere within the City."
DelPiccolo said 2022 election information, including the City Council district map, would be made available for potential candidates by mid-December at CityofMontrose.org/Election.