Saturday, June 6, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 14

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on October 16th, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 33 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 20, Issue 33

Supervisors discuss county redistricting process

By Zac Ezzone

During its meeting on Oct. 15, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors discussed what the county’s redistricting process will look like over the next two years.

In November 2018, county voters approved Measure G, which establishes an 11-person commission to adjust the boundaries of the county’s five supervisorial districts. The commission will be made up of county residents who won’t be influenced by political or financial incentives.

“The selection process is designed to produce [an] independent commission and independence from your board, from political parties, from campaign contributors, or other special financial interests,” county Deputy CEO Dennis Bozanich told the board.

The commission must draw these boundary lines based on a set of criteria that includes, among other things, the requirement to keep cities and communities together. After the maps are drawn, seven or more commissioners must vote in favor of the new boundaries prior to adoption. 

During the redistricting process, the commission must hold at least seven public meetings prior to drawing the maps. The commission must then post the maps online, and hold an additional seven public meetings.

Bozanich presented the supervisors with a timeline for this process. According to this timeline, the application phase for members interested in serving on this commission would begin in November 2019, and all commission members would be chosen by Sept. 15, 2020. Based on this timeline, the final maps would be approved in August 2021.

Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino raised concerns about the length of time between the commission being appointed and the time the final maps are approved. He said it leaves a lot of time for people with financial and political interests to reach out to the commission members to try to lobby for maps being drawn in ways that benefit their interests.

“I know we want to do things as quick as we can, but we also should take into consideration that we’re going to be asking people to do something that’s going to have a lot of attention on it,” Lavagnino said.

Fourth District Supervisor Peter Adam echoed Lavagnino’s concerns. 

“I think that having those people just hanging out there for a long time … could be potentially fraught with danger,” Adam said. 

Based on the feedback, Bozanich said county staff will look into shortening the time between when commission members are appointed and when the final maps are approved. 

Weekly Poll
What do you think about Aera Energy canceling its project in Cat Canyon?

It's a victory for the environment!
It's a loss of a lot of potential jobs that are needed in North County.
I'm all for renewable energy, but we still need oil and gas.
The county should never approve another oil and gas project.

| Poll Results

My 805 Tix - Tickets to upcoming events