Mayor Pro Tem Laurie Ender told the public, city staff and fellow council members, “We have no date to the prom on this one yet.”
Ender was referring to the redrawing of district lines and rumors that the Antelope Valley and Ventura County may not want to include the Santa Clarita Valley in their plans.
Every 10 years, after the federal census, California must redraw the boundaries of its Senate, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts, to reflect the new population data. In the past, those boundary lines were drawn by members of the California Legislature; now they will be drawn by a new Citizens Redistricting Commission (CRC).
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Mike Murphy, the city’s Intergovernmental Relations Officer, showed a Power Point presentation outlining the city staff’s recommendations.
“Santa Clarita is not large enough to be its own district and will have to be coupled with another population area,” Murphy said.
Murphy made the following Council Legislative Committee Recommendations.
A. City of Santa Clarita be placed within only one Congressional, State Senate Assembly, and Board of Equalization district and not divided among two or more districts.
B. Santa Clarita Valley be placed within only one Congressional, State Senate Assembly, and Board of Equalization district and not divided among two or more districts.
C. The City of Santa Clarita and Santa Clarita Valley be placed with compact districts, which should include other communities of north Los Angeles County and/or the northwest communities of the San Fernando Valley.
In addition, city staff recommended a representative of the city testify their position at the upcoming CRC public hearings in San Fernando and the Antelope Valley.
The city staff’s recommendation is to have the Santa Clarita population be combined with that of the Antelope Valley. Murphy believes sharing the 14 Freeway and falling into the same Metropolitan Transportation Authority district makes the two regions a like-minded “community of interest.”
Former City Council Member TimBen Boydston suggested the city look at combining their population numbers along the watershed which would include the communities of Fillmore and Santa Paula.
Mayor Marsha McLean insisted the city representatives request a CRC meeting after the first maps are made public, come up with alternative redistricting plans along the watershed, the transportation corridor and with communities along the 118 freeway.
Murphy said the CRC was in the process of taking input and would welcome “options for the prom date.”
California voters authorized the creation of the CRC when they passed the FIRST Act (Proposition 11) on the November 2008 general election ballot.
The first round of draft maps will be released in June. Final district maps must be certified by the Commission and presented to the Secretary of State by August 15, 2011.
The new district lines will impact the 2012 through 2020 election cycles.
If you are interested in attending, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission will hold a public input meeting 2-5 p.m., Saturday, April 30 in the Council Chambers of San Fernando City Hall, 117 Macneil Street.
A second public input meeting will take place in Lancaster on Sunday May 1, from 2-5 at the Sierra Toyota Antelope Valley Room, 43301 12th Street West.
Ender and fellow Councilmember Frank Ferry will represent the city at the meetings.