Redistricting pleases few locally |

Redistricting pleases few locally

Susan Wood

In a flurry of activity on both coasts last week, the state Assembly and Senate passed new political outlooks for California.

Both redistricting maps of the state, reflecting population changes from the 2000 U.S. Census, await the signature of Gov. Gray Davis, who has until Oct. 14 to act.

The Assembly’s passed on a 65-8 vote on its floor and 40-0 in the Senate. Fourth District Assemblyman Tim Leslie voted against it, and First District Sen. Tom “Rico” Oller voted in favor. The Senate’s passed on a 58-10 vote in the Assembly and 38-2 in the Senate, with the assemblyman and senator voting for it.

Despite the overall strong votes in support, neither one of the Lake Tahoe state legislators is particularly happy with their proposed districts.

Leslie frets about the prospect of losing Mono, Calaveras and Amador counties and portions of Placer and El Dorado counties. He kept Alpine County in his 4th District.

Leslie’s spokesman Brian O’Neel said the lawmaker feels Alpine and Amador counties should be lumped in the same district because they consist of populations with similar demographics.

They also have the same interests, as Placer and El Dorado counties have in sharing Lake Tahoe shoreline. Leslie is losing El Dorado Hills, ground zero for explosive growth in a county with a population of 156,299.

Oller’s office expressed the same sentiment.

“Either way, it’s a big mess. It’s more of a contribution to public art than public policy,” Oller’s spokesman Patrick Bergin said.

Oller is losing part of Placer County, a growth area with a population of 93,311.

“Our concern is splitting up communities of interest,” he said.

Still, both rural-area lawmakers shared relief their districts would remain predominantly Republican.

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