The theme of the 2021 Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission is delay, as commissioners opted to push every meaningful agenda item back an additional week after the U.S. Census Bureau data was already delayed until the end of September.
After one week off, the IRC met to originally address the data delay and come up with a set of questions for the 42 people who applied to be the executive director, but not all of the commissioners were able to thoroughly look over all applications before the meeting so they will spend the next week doing so.
Next week’s meeting, which will commence on March 9 at noon, will have the commissioners come up with a set of questions and begin the process to narrow down applicants.
Chairwoman Erika Neuberg said she narrowed down her favorites to a list of five, but didn’t provide the names of her frontrunners, nor the names of those who applied. Commissioners never established if they would limit to just five finalists, though, and said they are open to expanding an eventual list.
Neuberg tried to put a positive spin on the Census delay, saying commissioners can spend more time to meet with the public across the state. Commissioners can also use preliminary data from 2018 census projections to plan ahead for mapping purposes until they receive the necessary information in September.
The Commission also voted to delay finding a legal consultant until March 19 and a mapping consultant until March 26. Since its previous meeting on Feb. 16, the commission set up a new website, and noted that the open meeting complaint against the commission has been passed from the Attorney General’s Office to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office due to conflicts.