Public will get opportunity to discuss new district lines |

Public will get opportunity to discuss new district lines

by Timothy Bowman

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors threw the county redistricting plans back on the drawing board.

The El Dorado County Redistricting Committee submitted two plans to the board Tuesday.

The Pollock Pines proposal, which aims to incorporate the U.S. Highway 50 corridor to the Pollock Pines-Camino area into District 5 raised controversy in the Tahoe Basin and the West Slope.

District 5, which is completely in the Tahoe Basin, must expand west to acquire enough people to maintain population equality among the five districts, as required by law.

Residents feel Tahoe and Pollock Pines share little in common economically and socially.

“We have to have 31,000 (residents) per district,” said Dave Kurtzman, District 5 representative on the Redistricting Committee. “The bottom line in my mind is to preserve community of interest, where there is commonality. The integrity of the communities should be maintained.”

Redistricting Committee Chairman and representative for District 3, Jack Sweeney, said extending District 5 to the West Slope could eventually leave Tahoe without a resident supervisor.

“If you move the District 5 supervisor’s area to Pollock Pines, pretty quick, as that area grows, maybe the people in the Pollock Pines area out-vote the people in the basin and 10 years from now that will be a problem,” Sweeney said.

The Redistricting Committee is scheduled to hold public meetings at the Pollock Pines Community Center May 17 at 3 p.m., South Lake Tahoe Senior Center May 24 at 1:30 p.m., and the El Dorado Hills Community Service District Pavilion May 31 at 3 p.m. Sweeney said he hopes the meetings will provide the committee with constructive input.

“I am hopeful that we get some good ideas,” Sweeney said. “To be critical of us as volunteers is inappropriate. What is appropriate is to give us ideas, so I am hoping people don’t just come throwing rocks.”

Kurtzman said the committee will redraw the lines with heavy consideration given to what they hear from the community.

“I am assuming as a committee that we will take the public input and forward one or two maps back to the board,” Kurtzman said. “It may be the very same maps, it just depends on the public input.”

The proposals are supposed to be in before June 15. Once the board receives the plans they are expected to hold two meetings to enter an ordinance and then accept one making any necessary modifications. Sweeney expects the new district boundaries to take effect around the beginning of August, in plenty of time for people to run for county seats in March 2002.

“You have to have them in place by that time so that people know whether they are in the district to run or not,” Sweeney said.

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