San Luis Obispo County’s redistricting process under fire
August 23, 2011
The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote to adopt a controversial redistricting plan that would separate both Templeton and San Luis Obispo into three different districts, according to Tuesday’s consent agenda.
Supervisors Adam Hill, Jim Paterson and Bruce Gibson support Option B — a plan that puts portions of Templeton in the 1st, 2nd and 5th districts.
Supervisor Frank Mecham wanted a revised version of Option B that places Templeton into two districts leaving the north portion of Templeton, an area that is slated to be annexed into District 1 in the future, in his district. Paul Teixeira supported Mecham’s plan which was voted down by a 2-3 vote.
In support of Option B, the supervisors said they are attempting to achieve a voter balance in a county that has seen a 10.3-percent increase in population. Every 10 years, following the census, the county redraws the districts.
Several opponents of both Option B and the revise version contend Option C delivers a more even population division while preserving communities. In addition, with three supervisors to a community, discussions with community leaders would violate the Brown Act which does not allow three supervisors to discuss an issue outside of a board meeting.
Some critics of Option B claim the supervisors have a clear conflict of interest that they have failed to disclose, specifically, that the division of Templeton into three districts supports the probability that the political makeup of the board will survive the next election.