Monday, April 18, 2011

Redistricting: next meeting Wednesday, April 20

With the posting of the April 20 meeting agenda, we learn that two of the five executive director candidates interviewed last week have been invited back for more.  Former Deputy City Manager (Phoenix) Ray Bladine and former state (Arizona) government executive Geoffrey Gonsher will face a public interview this week.

Bladine was a finalist for the IRC chairman's position.  Gonsher has been director of the Arizona Dept. of Racing (2003-2008, in the Napolitano administration) and executive director of the Arizona Lottery (1997-2003, in the Hull adminstration).  Gonsher holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Arizona State in political science.

A notable departure on the agenda, public comments will be taken after the interviews.

Other agenda items include office space rental, other staff hiring issues, and discussion of the evaluation process regarding RFPs for legal and mapping consultants.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports today that Commissioners Stertz and Freeman have recommended circumventing state procurement code procedures for retaining legal counsel and mapping consultants.  They say that without doing so, it could be mid-June before these key positions are in place.  The Arizona Eagletarian reported last week about this frustration citing potential ramifications of taking short cuts in procuring these big ticket services.

Given his comments on the procurement code, Stertz appears to be gearing up for a confrontational approach to doing much of the business of redistricting.  And given that Stertz was Russell Pearce's guy for the IRC, that should not surprise anyone.

The meeting will be held this week in the Carnegie Library, 1101 W Washington St., in Phoenix.

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