More redistricting plans on the table
After three public hearings the El Dorado County Redistricting Committee submitted three redistricting proposals Tuesday to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, which continued its decision to June 26.
The proposals are the El Dorado Hills Alternative, the Camino-Pollock Alternative and the Pollock Pines II Alternative.
“(The Camino-Pollock Alternative) was designed to merge Camino and Pollock Pines into one district,” said South Lake Tahoe resident Dave Kurtzman, the Redistricting Committee representative for District 5. “There was the El Dorado Hills Alternative and, in my opinion, that most reflects the input we got from three public hearings. And there is the Pollock Pines II Alternative which moves Dave Solaro’s district down to Pollock Pines and Helen Baumann’s district takes over all of Tahoe Paradise and Montgomery Estates and everything outside the (the South Lake Tahoe city limits).”
The Redistricting Committee submitted two plans May 8 to the Board of Supervisors. Those plans were the Strawberry Alternative and the Pollock Pines Alternative.
Opposition to the Pollock Pines Alternative in Tahoe centered around District 5’s gaining substantial area from the West Slope. The population on the West Slope is growing at a higher rate than in the Tahoe Basin. If District 5 is extended to Pollock Pines, West Slope residents could outvote people in the Basin, leaving Tahoe with no resident supervisor. Dave Kurtzman said he feels incorporating Pollock Pines and the Tahoe Basin into the same supervisorial district is contrary to the committee’s task of maintaining communities of interest.
“I have a hard time understanding the logic in the District 2 supervisor taking on significantly more Tahoe responsibility at the expense of the District 5 supervisor taking on responsibility in Pollock Pines,” Kurtzman said.
The board recognized opposition to both plans from the public and county government. The board asked the Redistricting Committee to hold public meetings at South Lake Tahoe, Pollock Pines and El Dorado Hills to gather public input and redraw the maps based on the responses they received.
The board discussed the three new alternatives Tuesday, taking comments from the redistricting committee and the public. The board handed the plans to the county surveyor to make last-minute adjustments before final consideration June 26.
Kurtzman said he was frustrated by the board’s delay in accepting a plan.
“They basically continued the matter but they did not accept the maps which surprised me because after submitting two maps they asked the committee to hold public hearings and we brought back what we found from public comment,” Kurtzman said. “My concern is that I’m not sure that a lot of attention is being paid to the outcome of the public hearings and community input. I have no idea what the final maps will look like.”
County Surveyor Dan Russell said a map must be selected by June 26 to give the Elections Department enough time to implement the new county lines for the next election.
“The board continued the matter until June 26 and staff strongly suggested that they select a map at that board meeting because the timing is becoming crucial,” Russell said. “If they do select a map on June 26, staff will have enough time to convert the census track boundary map to parcel specific maps for each of the supervisorial districts.”
After a map is adopted the board is expected to hold two public readings of the ordinance at its regularly scheduled meetings. After the second reading, which is expected July 17, the Elections Department will have 30 days to impose the new district boundaries.
Kurtzman said the county surveyor will work primarily with the El Dorado Hills and Pollock Pines II alternatives and make adjustments.
“My sense is that they are going to probably work from the El Dorado Hills Alternative and the Pollock Pines II and then fine-tune it from there,” Kurtzman said. “That is my sense from their general comments.”
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