Mayor Kevin Johnson thinks the way the city's redistricting process has unfolded stinks. And he wants to make some changes.
The mayor was very critical today of the way the council has settled on the final six maps it is considering for new council district boundaries. Two of them were submitted by council members - Sandy Sheedy and Steve Cohn.
"That discredits, in my opinion, the whole process," the mayor said. "We say 'integrity,' we say 'involve the public,' and then we put two maps out."
Sheedy laid into a citizens advisory committee last month for recommending one map that had been drawn anonymously. She then submitted her own map.
Johnson said he thought the citizens advisory committee did "a stellar job" and said he wants to change the city charter to include an independent redistricting commission comparable to the committee being used at the state level.
"You don't want elected officials choosing their voters," he said.
Dismissing the city committee's work is "a slap in the face for the citizens advisory council, for the public who already doesn't feel good about elected officials and what they do and what we do," the mayor said.
"I feel like for them, they have a bitter taste in their mouth," he added. "I feel like when we say 'transparency' and then we magically pull out a map or two, that to me more than taints the process. I feel like you're railroading the process."