New District Lines Divide San Diego Council
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
San Diego has a new, ninth council district, but when it will actually go into effect is still up for debate.
SAN DIEGO If this were a normal redistricting cycle the new district boundaries would go into effect in about two weeks. But it’s not a normal cycle, because this time around the city created a new ninth district.
The problem? There won’t be a ninth council member to represent that district until the end of next year. The San Diego City Attorney has said that means the current boundaries should remain in effect until a representative is sworn in.
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Councilman Kevin Faulconer agrees the lines should remain the same until after the election.
“I think the analysis is correct,” he said. “I believe that is also the best, common sense way to continue representation before we have that new seat.”
But Councilman Tony Young said the new district boundaries can go into effect as usual, while still ensuring voters in the ninth district are represented.
“There could be a way in which the individuals who had represented those areas in District 9 in the past continue to do that until there is a new person elected for the ninth council seat,” he said.
Deputy City Attorney Sharon Spivak cautioned that council members who spend city resources in portions of their districts that would be new to them could run afoul of election laws.
The new district was discussed at a city council committee Wednesday. No action was taken to resolve the dispute because the new map is in a 30-day period in which it can be challenged by residents. No referendums have been filed to-date, according to City Clerk Elizabeth Maland.
City News Service contributed to this report