Corvallis updates ward boundaries

The+City+of+Corvallis+adjusts+ward+boundaries+based+on+2020+census+data.%0A

Connor Kealey

The City of Corvallis adjusts ward boundaries based on 2020 census data.

Lara Rivera, News Contributor

The City of Corvallis updated the ward boundary maps on July 5, reaching a once in a decade limit affecting hundreds of homes in Corvallis. 

The households that have been shifted to a new ward will be represented by the councilors from the corresponding ward they were in prior to the July 5 ward map. After November’s election, the houses that shifted will see candidates from the new ward on the ballot. After the election in November, the houses that are in a new ward will be represented by the councilor in the new ward. 

City of Corvallis is required to update the nine ward boundary maps every ten years after receiving data from the most recently completed United States census. This ward boundary map update is due to the shift in population over the past decade in Corvallis. 

“The goal of the Corvallis ward system is to have equal representation across all nine wards,” said Patrick Rollens, public information officer for the City of Corvallis. 

Corvallis’s population is roughly 60,000 people. Each of the nine wards is made up of a roughly 6,000 people to allow each ward to have the same level of representation.

“The goal is to not have one ward be wildly lopsided in size,” Rollens said. 

Due to population growth a small portion of ward four, where the majority of Oregon State University’s campus is located, portions of ward four have been moved into wards one and two. In addition, ward four received a portion of ward two. 

There are not a lot of major shifts according to Andrew Struthers, Corvallis’s ward 9 councilor. 

“The biggest shift is around OSU and student housing,” Struthers said. “We try to break up OSU a little bit into more than one ward because of the growing student housing.”

According to Rollens, ward one’s councilor, Jan Napack, recognized that the portion of ward four that ward one picked up had been in ward one about 20 years ago. 

During ward reassessments, the council takes into consideration groups such as existing neighborhood associations and does not split the associations into different wards. 

“We also have to strive to preserve the voting strength of minority and underrepresented communities,” Rollens said. “We have to keep that group intact,” as is stated in the State of Oregon statutes. 

Ward boundaries are most often used during elections. The elections for Corvallis ward councilors are happening in November. 

Elections in Oregon are administered at the county level. 

“We just encourage people to reach out, get to know your new city councilor and build a relationship there,” Rollens said. 

To contact your city councilor and/or Corvallis mayor, Rollins suggests residents to reach out through the Corvallis’s official website.