Tuesday, June 14, 2011
All five San Diego County Supervisors are white Republicans. The proposed new district lines don’t suggest that will change any time soon.
San Diego County’s Redistricting Committee has voted on three final maps which change the supervisors’ district boundary lines. They wrapped up their work Monday with little public comment.
The County Board of Supervisors manages a $5 billion budget but Redistricting Committee chair, Michel Anderson, said very few people got involved in redesigning their political districts.
“I've been very surprised there hasn’t been more public input,” he said, while waiting for staff to draw up the final maps. “As you saw, today was our final meeting, we have no public comment, and through our previous 13 meetings, we only had 24 people come and speak to us.“
The 2010 census shows non-Hispanic whites now make up less than half of San Diego's population. Meanwhile all five county supervisors are white Republicans. The proposed new district lines don’t suggest that will change any time soon.
Anderson said Greg Cox’s South Bay district must shrink in order to equalize the number of residents in each district (about 620,000.) He said Diane Jacob’s rural east county district needs to grow to include some urban areas.
“Really the only matter in debate at this point, is where she’s going to be picking up that population," Anderson explained. “So Rolando is in play, Navajo, the San Carlos areas, as well as up the 1-15 corridor as far north as Rancho Bernardo, Miramar north, Scripps Ranch are in play because Jacob had to gain so much in population.”
Dennis Ridz, Supervisor Pam Slater Price’s appointee, said the county’s computer modeling didn’t make it easy to come up with alternative maps.
“When the dust settles,” he said, "we should go back and take a look at how the computer system can be improved - which might help get more public interest in being able to manipulate things on the maps.“
Ridz had tried to convince the committee to add Carlsbad to Slater Price's district, and lose Escondido. But staff said cities cannot be divided, and Carlsbad’s population is too big. Instead the committee voted last week to move La Jolla out of Slater Price’s district and into Ron Robert’s.
Ridz’s suggestion was not among the final maps and his was the lone ‘no’ vote to the final three.
“Which are basically clones of each other,“ he said as he left the county administration building after the vote, “and so I believe the supervisors will never see what that plan entailed.“
A coastal district might have offered a less conservative constituency.
The County Redistricting Committee is advisory only. It will present the three proposed alternatives to the Board of Supervisors on June 28th. The supervisors can chose one, or they could pick something completely different, which is what they did during redistricting last time round, 10 years ago.