Board continues discussions on proposed redistricting maps
Published Dec. 6, 2021
The Placer County Board of Supervisors will continue its discussion on proposed supervisorial district maps following its Nov 30 tentative vote in support of Map A. The Board is still scheduled to hold a second vote on Map A tomorrow but more discussion is possible on the alternatives, including a newly proposed map.
The decision to include an option on the agenda for reopening the discussion and also to add a new map for review was made late last week by District 2 Supervisor and Board Chair Robert Weygandt after two supervisors made separate requests for flexibility on the item. Legal procedures allow for potential reconsideration.
“One of my colleagues wanted further engagement and discussion generally on the maps, while another colleague asked that we make some modifications to Map A that would satisfy some of the deficiencies of the other proposed maps,” said Weygandt. “I felt it was important to be flexible given the importance of this effort.”
There are 18 proposed map alternatives provided to date, but it is anticipated that the Board’s focus will be on three; Map A, which was created by staff, the Hybrid 2.0, Option 1 map, which was developed by several community members and Alternative Z, which is essentially a modified Map A. All of the maps can be viewed on the county’s redistricting website.
On Nov. 30, the board voted 3-2 to tentatively approve Map A, which was supported by Board Chair Weygandt, District 3 Supervisor Jim Holmes and District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. District 1 Supervisor Bonnie Gore and District 4 Supervisor Suzanne Jones favored other proposed maps.
The redistricting process has garnered a great deal of public attention and criticism from the media over a perceived lack of transparency. Board Chair Weygandt says the Sacramento Bee’s reporting is irresponsible.
“I am appalled at the accusations coming from the Sacramento Bee and from community members who are politically motivated,” said Weygandt. “We began this process in the spirit of transparency and we have done our due diligence to take input from all sectors of our community. Sometimes the loudest voice in the room is not the majority opinion and we must use our best judgment to find the balance.”
If a different map alternative is ultimately preferred by the Board, action items have been included on the agenda for the Board to rescind the tentative approval of Alternative A, to tentatively approve a different map alternative and to introduce and waive oral reading of an ordinance incorporating the new tentatively approved map. The item will then need to be voted on again during the Dec.14 Board meeting. An approved supervisorial district map must be submitted to the state by Dec.15. The approved map will go into effect in early 2022.
The redistricting process is initiated in the year following the U.S Census, which happens once every 10 years as required by the U.S. Constitution.
Census data allows county officials to realign supervisorial districts, accounting for shifts in population growth since the last Census and assuring equal representation for their constituents in compliance with the “one-person, one-vote” principle of the Voting Rights Act.
Typically, the redistricting process takes about seven to nine months to complete, however, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the final Census data from the 2020 countywide population count until late September, putting the county on an accelerated timeline to finalize a map.
Archived videos, presentations, and information about the 2021 redistricting process can be found at https:www.placer.ca.gov/redistricting.