The debate over which county redistricting plan should be adopted is expected to come down to the wire.
The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors is expected to adopt a redistricting plan today in order to meet the redistricting deadline set by the county registrar.
The El Dorado County Redistricting Committee submitted two plans to the Board of Supervisors May 8. Those plans were the Strawberry Alternative and the Pollock Pines Alternative.
The Pollock Pines Alternative raised controversy because it proposed extending District 5 west to incorporate Pollock Pines in the same district as Tahoe. Opponents argued that such a move would violate both areas’ communities of interest.
“In doing that (District 5 Supervisor) Dave Solaro would have to take on more Pollock Pines people as constituents who have entirely different issues than the people in the Tahoe Basin,” said Dave Kurtzman, District 5 representative to the redistricting committee. “He would have to take on issues, all of which would be new to his area of responsibility.”
The board recognized opposition to both plans from the public and county government and asked the committee to hold three meetings to gather public input on the proposals.
After meetings at South Lake Tahoe, Pollock Pines and El Dorado Hills the committee redrew three maps based on the responses they received.
The board discussed the three alternatives June 12, taking comments from the redistricting committee and the public.
The board handed the plans over to the county surveyor to make last-minute adjustments before today’s meeting. County Surveyor Dan Russell said the plans will return for consideration without any amendments.
“Tomorrow at 2 p.m. we are going to have three maps up there,” Russell said. “We have added nothing. Once they select a map the staff will transform the boundaries from census track boundaries and they will convert them to parcel-specific. They’re supposed to select a map tomorrow and then staff is going to have two weeks to prepare the parcel-specific map and then we will bring that map back to the board.”
Because the proposal is an ordinance, the board is required to hold two public readings of it before final acceptance. If the proposal is accepted tomorrow, the board is expected to hold the two public readings July 10 and July 17. After the second reading the county elections department will have 30 days to implement the new district boundaries. The new boundaries are expected to be in place by late August.
Chair of the Board of Supervisors Penny Humphreys said while there is pressure to make a decision today there will still be considerable debate on the issue at today’s meeting.
“We have to (accept a plan Tuesday,)” Humphreys said. “We are up against the deadline. We have no choice. I don’t think the time is the issue. It is just not one of those things where all five of us are going to come out happy.”
While there have not been any amendments to the redistricting proposals since June 12, Redistricting Committee Chairman Jack Sweeney said he expects the board to make some changes before the ordinance is given to the county elections department for implementation.
“We submitted our plan two weeks ago and now the board is going to do their own thing tomorrow,” Sweeney said. “I really expect some changes to the map and then they’ll adopt something. I really expect them to adopt something because it is time.”
Who: El Dorado County Board of Supervisors
When: 9 a.m. today. The topic of redistricting is expected to start about 2 p.m.
Where: 330 Fair Lane Court, Placerville
by Timothy Bowman
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