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Supes’ redistricting options focus on Santa Rosa

Option 1 - Board of Supervisors redistricting plan (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

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.

Option 2 - Board of Supervisors redistricting plan (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

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.

Option 3 - Board of Supervisors redistricting plan (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

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.





6 Responses to “Supes’ redistricting options focus on Santa Rosa”

  1. bear says:

    @bill. Good comments, but this process is out of citizen control. Trust me, you wouldn’t want the job.

    I recommend the minimum change. Better the supervisor you know than big changes in uncertain times.

    And its really good that Fountaingrove might get split up. Do you really want those folks to control a whole district?

    The most important district is the 3rd, because it covers mostly city areas, so the supervisor doesn’t really have to deal with rural areas, or land use issues. He/she will be the swing vote on many issues with little at stake.

  2. Steve Klausner says:

    As a rural resident of the 1st District I like option 3 the best. Keep the City of Santa Rosa in it’s own district as much as possible. They are not dependent county services as most of their problems handled by city government. For us rural residents the county is the only government we have and we need a supervisor focused on our issues.

  3. doodles says:

    Voters do this task? The same voters who approved SMART, high speed rail, and other very costly laws that got us into the mess we are in? Unfortunately, voters have opinions, but little time and patience for studying the detail posed to them at the ballot. This looks way too complicated and important to leave to whim or reaction. Couldn’t the sups put more people with knowledge and ability to represent diverse views to the commission that draws the maps?

  4. Liz says:

    I agree we the voters should get a chance to voice our opinions on these maps just as we did for the citizens redistricting commission for the state.
    This process needs to be more open with clear times and dates posted for the meetings!!!

  5. bill says:

    The real issue in this area is not the lines being drawn but rather the reason for the economy.

    Wine production and grape growing are the key issues because they contribute a major amount of capital to the Sonoma County economy. That is followed by marijuana production which may soon outgrow grapes as the major contributor to economics in the county.

    This is not reflected in the policies or people who comprise our local government.

    Most of our citizens live in a dream world of what life was like back the 50′s and 60′s.

    Most of our politicians realize and capitalize on this dream fantasy.

    Wake them up and kick them out is the motto for positive change in Sonoma County.

  6. bill says:

    Why do supervisors redistrict? Why don’t voters do this task?

    Never trust politicians to do what is right for all of us. They will only support their sponsors.

    We should question this redistricting practice and decide as voters if we really want it to continue.