The City Hires Demographics Company to Study 2010 US Census Numbers

At City Hall this evening, several residents gathered to protest a proposed new contract the city is considering, to have National Demographics Corporation (NDC) study the existing city council districts and compare them to the new 2010 US Census data.

The city council districts currently in place were defined before the 2010 US Census was taken. Hence, the city proposed hiring NDC to find out if the new census data would require them to redraw district lines.

Douglas Johnson, president of NDC, indicated that if the new census numbers shows the current city council districts are out of balance, and the city doesn't take action, it could put those districts in jeopardy.

"If you don't draw the districts boundaries properly, anyone can challenge it" Johnson testified at the meeting. "A judge could actually invalidate the districts and force an election at-large."

Anne Pica, who authored Measure AA, the measure that established the city's current four-district system, spoke out against hiring NDC, offering to instead have a citizens committee that would study the new census data for free. "This can be done is a timely manner and with almost no cost to the City of Menifee" Pica said. "I have all of the original census blocks from NDC and anyone can download the census blocks from the 2010 federal census for the City of Menifee free of charge once they have been put on the census website."

However Douglas Johnson countered that the new 2010 census blocks are completely different than what the US Census had used before. "There are 50% more blocks than what they used in 2000." he argued, pointing out that it's not a simple matter of comparing the last decennial census to the current.

Other city residents, Greg August and John Smelser voiced their lack of trust in Johnson, claiming that the last time the city council had discussed drawing district lines Johnson had said councilmember Fred Twyman's proposed districts were the best. "I never said Twyman's proposal was the best, I simply said it was the most balanced", Johnson countered. "My job is not to make the decisions, but to provide options."

In the end, the city council voted to hire NDC at a cost of $2,500.00 to determine if the new 2010 US Census data will require any changes to the city's four districts. If NDC determines that changes are required, the city council will consider appointing five residents to a new census committee that will determine how to redraw district lines.

That committee will require a package of data from NDC, and that package will cost the city about $32,000.00 for NDC to produce.




2 Comments:

  1. This is another waste of money. Someone already employed within the city council could spend a few hours and figure this out. This is not rocket science and just simple numbers. My teenager could easily do this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Having checked around with other cities that are by district have found out they all do it in house and NDC is not the only company that has the software to do this as he stated at the city council meeting. San Deigo, Riverside, long Beach just to name a few do the census adjustments themselves in house with a committee of residence to redistrict. City staff should be supplying this information to the city council instead of the residence of the city. It is my understanding that Riverside is willing to help the new city of Menifee on the implymentation of the software package and how to use it. I think this would be the wise choice as it will be cost effective down the road. Every ten years the Government will take a census and even though this city council may not be here it will make life much easy for the next generation of council members

    ReplyDelete

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