By BRETT WILKISON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Up to 6,000 residents in the Santa Rosa area likely will have a new face representing them on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors next year as a result of proposed redistricting plans.
That’s because they will be in a new supervisorial district.
Supervisors must redraw the county’s district boundaries every 10 years after the U.S. Census to rebalance population among the five districts.
California’s voter-mandated Citizens Redistricting Commission is overseeing the same work on state and Congressional districts.
On Aug. 9, a commission appointed by supervisors will unveil three redistricting options for the board to consider. The advisory commission includes county Clerk-Recorder-Assessor Janice Atkinson, Sheriff Steve Freitas and District Attorney Jill Ravitch.
To rebalance the county’s 483,878 residents — up from 458,614 in the 2000 census — the committee preferred two plans that make slight changes to district boundaries.
They would shrink the 3rd District, which includes most of Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park and also grew the most over the past 10 years, adding more than 10,000 people.
Supervisor Shirlee Zane, who represents the district, would lose 3,000 to 6,000 residents under the two plans, mostly in the Fountaingrove and Bennett Valley areas and in northwestern Santa Rosa.
Districts that would expand include the 1st, which currently encompasses Sonoma, the Sonoma Valley and parts of northeastern Santa Rosa. It is represented by Supervisor Valerie Brown. Her district would expand to take in more of Fountaingrove and Bennett Valley under both plans, picking up 1,300 to 3,000 more residents.
Under the second option, the 4th District, represented by Supervisor Mike McGuire and including most of the inland north county, would shift south to pick up more of the northeastern Fountaingrove area, effectively splitting it among three supervisors — McGuire, Brown and Zane. The 4th District also would add more of northwest Santa Rosa around Guerneville Road. The shift would add about 500 residents to the district.
The 5th District, which includes most of the west county and is represented by Supervisor Efren Carrillo, would edge further into Santa Rosa under both options. The boundaries would move north from West College Avenue to Jennings Avenue, adding 1,900 to 2,200 people.
A third plan would do away with current boundaries almost entirely. It would create two Santa Rosa-centered districts out of the 3rd and 5th. Currently Santa Rosa and its outskirts are shared by four supervisors.
It also would expand the 2nd, the south county-centered district represented by Supervisor David Rabbitt, to include Sebastopol and would enlarge McGuire’s 4th District to take in the entire north county, including the coast down to Bodega Bay.
Several supervisors called that plan “radical” and “drastic.”
“I just don’t see us going in that direction,” said Carrillo, the board chairman. Under that option, his sprawling west county district would shrink to a smaller, mostly urban area including Santa Rosa west of Highway 101.
Supervisor Shirlee Zane, who would take the eastern half of Santa Rosa under the third option, said she saw no chance of it being adopted.
Supervisors could choose one of the two leading options, develop one of their own, or combine ideas.
The public will have its first chance to comment on the plans at the board’s Aug. 9 meeting. Two redistricting hearings, which have not been scheduled, will be held on the plans.
The board has until Nov. 1 to adopt the new district boundaries.