Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett yesterday announced that he will hold an open meeting on Thursday, February 24th at 2:30pm to swear in the first four commissioners. The commissioners will also interview, take public comment and a vote on which of the five Independent candidates will be selected to chair the commission for the upcoming redistricting cycle.
The agenda, linked above, states, but may be technically incorrect, that the commission may go into executive session (not open to the public) for any item on the agenda. However, Item V., the vote on the fifth member, must be conducted publicly. I spoke with Jim Drake to verify that to be the case, but he doesn't think he needs to clarify the agenda to that effect.
Also of interest, the public comment period will take place after the interviews of the candidates. That's different from how the screening panel handled the public comment. Hopefully, it will make for lively contributions from the public in addition to discussion by and among the voting members of the commission.
Given that a 30 minute period is allotted to interview each of the five independent candidates, and that public comment will take place after the interviews, the meeting will likely last at least until 6pm.
The Independent candidates are (with their scheduled interview time):
3:00pm Kimber Lanning
3:30pm Colleen Mathis
4:00pm Ray Bladine
4:30pm Paul Bender
5:00pm Margarita Silva
Rather than in Bennett's office or conference room, this meeting will take place in the State Library Conference Room, 1700 W. Washington, Ste. 200, in Phoenix. However, getting there can be a bit tricky. In the Capitol building, there is the executive tower on the west end (entrance on 18th avenue), the Capitol Museum on the east end (entrance between the state House and Senate buildings). But to get to this conference room, you must take an elevator in the hallway between the executive tower and the museum. However, there should be people at either entrance who can show you how to find this conference room.
I plan to be there. I hope you do too.