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Buckeye has six new Council districts

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BUCKEYE — After an exhausting and accelerated process, Buckeye has six new sets of City Council district boundaries.

The new sets of boundaries, built using 2020 U.S. Census data and community and Council input, were assembled by consultant Doug Johnson of the National Demographics Corporation. The new sets are meant to last until the 2030 U.S. Census, and have factored in some residential growth to take place over the next several years.

The boundaries were approved by a 6-0 vote at Tuesday’s regular Council meeting. Vice Mayor Tony Youngker wasn’t at Tuesday’s meeting.

Johnson pointed out that at the start of the process, districts 4 and 6, the only two districts centered north of I-10, were so overgrown, there was enough people on that side of town to make three districts.

Districts 4 and 6 will now be entirely north of I-10. That’s where most of the new housing was built in Buckeye from 2010 to 2020.

Districts had an aiming point of about 15,000 people each, using the April 1, 2020 Census snapshot population for the city of about 93,000.

However, with rapid new home construction and move-ins since then, Buckeye’s population is likely close to 100,000 now, city officials believe.

There is still as much as a 5% allowed variation between the districts in population, based partly on anticipated growth.

For example, District 2 will have about 15,850 residents —1,029 more residents than District 1.

Council member Craig Heustis asked Johnson to tweak Map B to keep both the entire Blue Horizons and Sundance developments together in the same district.

Johnson mostly accomplished this — Blue Horizons and most of the Sundance neighborhoods are in the same district, with Yuma and Watson roads as the southwest corner.

The new boundary lines will be in place for the 2022 election cycle. That’s when Buckeye districts 4, 5, and 6 are up for election.

Primaries are set for Tuesday, Aug. 2.

The city is spending more than $100,000 with Johnson’s firm for redistricting knowledge, analysis, mapping and presentation. He had helped re-map the city after the 2010 Census.

City council districts must follow a long list of county, state and federal regulations, including not using race as a main factor in drawing boundaries.

Buckeye is 39% Latino overall; the map approved Tuesday has four districts that are between 43% and 51% Latino, with districts 4 and 6 at 22% and 23%, respectively.

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