Templeton resident appealing redistricting ruling

April 23, 2012


A Templeton resident who lost a lawsuit last month which argued the recently redrawn political boundaries fail to follow government code is filing an appeal with the 2nd District Court of Appeals in Ventura.

William Pelfrey said he filed his original suit because he believes the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors failed to follow government regulations regarding redistricting and instead drew supervisory boundaries in an attempt to improve several board members chances at reelection. Pelfrey contends communities should be kept as united as possible and questions the supervisors’ vote to break Templeton into two districts and the city of San Luis Obispo into three districts.

“Obviously, the trial court ruling was not what my attorney and I had hoped for, we believe there are several reasonable grounds for an appeal and we will be perusing those,” Pelfrey said. “If necessary, we will take it to the California Supreme Court.”

In his original lawsuit, Pelfrey said Patterson’s bid to keep a chunk of San Luis Obispo in his primarily North County district was an attempt to help him win this year’s election.

“Retaining a portion of the city of San Luis Obispo would likely greatly benefit Mr. Patterson in the upcoming elections, given the past voting histories of voters in that area,” said the lawsuit filed by Santa Margarita attorney Sophia Trader.

In March, Superior Court Judge Jac Crawford ruled in favor of the supervisors, said he saw no evidence that the board had political motivations, and threw out Pefrey’s lawsuit.

“The court will not overturn the board’s decision,” Crawford wrote. “There is no evidence that the board acted arbitrarily, capriciously, or entirely without evidentiary support.”

Every 10 years, following the U.S. Census, the county redraws the supervisory boundaries reportedly seeking to provide as equal a population balance as possible and working to keep populations sharing common social and economic interests together.

If Pelfrey’s appeal is successful, the boundaries will be reset by either the board or a redistricting commission so that “it compiles with the primary and secondary Election Code criteria,” with a local judge staying involved until the issue is settled. In addition, Pelfrey is seeking reimbursement for his attorney’s fees and court costs.

The new boundaries will stand until after the 2012 elections regardless of the outcome of Pelfrey’s appeal.



  1. rogerfreberg says:

    Oh, are we surprised boys and girls that a local court is ruling with a major local institution (Board of Supervisors)? I would speculate that this will be overturned on appeal.

    Years ago, Christine Mulholland and I were gerrymandered our of district three… we live near Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo. Obviously, Laguna Lake and its superior fishing and yachting facilities has more in common with Morro Bay and Cambria … so we were scooped into that district.

    I am never surprised by the arrogance.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  2. obispan says:

    I’ve asked before and I’ll ask again. Is there a link to the approved plan AND alternate proposals? After ridding themselves of part or all of SLO where would D5 get the extra people? D1 or D2. No point replacing SLO liberals with D2 liberals. Need “excess” conservatives from D1, which safely expands to the outskirts of a Lois Capps-esque coastal strip of D2 (Coastal Commission governs it anyway), as far south as the math requires, taking in some liberals. Full circle trade from D5 to D2. Counter-clockwise if you have a map handy. To summarize; D5 becomes solid conservative – no more David Blakleys, or even Jim Pattersons – C ; D1 – C; D2 – L. D3 in-play; D4 – C. That’s 4-1 C at best and still 3-2 at worst. Currently; D5 – in play, D-1 – C, D2 – L, D3 in-play, D4 – C. 4-1 C at best, but unfortunately 2-3 at worst, the current sit-yee-ation. C has to take one of the in-play districts – they currently have neither. Under the new plan it’s a C majority ALWAYS, D5 is safe, D3 is irrelevant. UNLESS ANYONE HAS ANY CORRECTIONS (with all due respect – good luck) – I believe you can accept this as straight-up fact as I can imagine it no other way. P.S. Anyone who thinks this is about what’s best for Templeton is naive. The Board of Supervisors is big-time football.

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
  3. racket says:

    Not everything the supes do is political. Occasionally, one might pick up the phone and make a prank call impersonating his rival. But he would do it only as good-natured ribbing, without any political overtones.

    To the point: I agree Crawford is legislating from the bench, and it must stop. I wish there were some mechanism whereby when a judge’s decsion gets overturned on appeal, THE JUDGE is somehow liable for wasting everyone’s time and money due to incompetence.

    (19) 27 Total Votes - 23 up - 4 down
    • racket says:

      Whoops. These comments are in response to pasojim, and I mis-applied them. Sorry.

      (3) 9 Total Votes - 6 up - 3 down
  4. R.Hodin says:

    “May you be involved in a lawsuit in which you are certain that you are right”

    This classic “gypsy curse” describes exactly what Pelfrey has created for himself. Anyone who goes to court “hoping” for an outcome has already lost his case. You either know you have a likelihood of winning before going in, or you stay home with your marbles. Anything else is a fool’s errand. Pelfrey is wasting everybody’s time and our money.

    (-5) 25 Total Votes - 10 up - 15 down
    • pasojim says:

      People that use the only system we have available to them to get involved in decisions that effect them aren’t wasting any public servants time. There needs to be more of them.

      The sad part of this is there isn’t enought trust that these decisions will be made responsibly.

      (12) 28 Total Votes - 20 up - 8 down
  5. bobfromsanluis says:

    I have to wonder if the gentleman filing this lawsuit is one of those who decries government spending, but doesn’t see the folly of having our county government having to spend our tax dollars in a court of law? Oh well, if you get “your way” surely it isn’t a waste of taxpayer funds ….

    (-4) 26 Total Votes - 11 up - 15 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      I applaud Pelfrey for exercising his rights under the Constitution/BOR in seeking change of what he believes to be a wrong.

      It takes a degree of bravery, intelligence and tenacity that many people lack.

      It also keeps the door open so that the rest of us, should we feel we need to take a case to court, can also have access to the courts.

      (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
    • SLOChuck says:

      Bob, I would much rather see a hundred of these cases where JoeCitizen is standing up against a perceived political wrong “wasting our taxpayer money” than one corrupt politician get reelected because of this scheming.

      (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down
  6. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    Im not sure on this one if there was intent of anything. When I see a district like Maldenado’s (nothing against him one way or other he didn’t draw up) starting in SLO county and running a 100 miles as a thin sliver up to Monterery, then maybe. But in a county this size you are going to have to put a line somewhere.

    I don’t see anything from the maps here (SLO county), that leads me to believe any improprities. The old saying you can’t please all the people all the time.

    (-1) 21 Total Votes - 10 up - 11 down
    • Citizen says:

      That strange sliver up to Monterery was done for Capps, not Maldonado. He loses because the sliver is democratic.

      (7) 21 Total Votes - 14 up - 7 down
      • BeenThereDoneThat says:

        The sliver I was talking about was implimented after 2000. Maldonado won since then. So now please explain how did this work against him????

        (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
      • BeenThereDoneThat says:

        Let’s also be realistic. You want to go after Capps (and trust me I am no Capps fan by any means) but lets be fair. Both sides gerrymander the hell out of California. How about when Bill Thomas out of Bakersfields district was representing us on the coast? I liked Bill, voted for him but it still was LUDICRIS that he was representing us.

        Again stop being blinded by your party bias and realize your party and the other both do it.

        (11) 15 Total Votes - 13 up - 2 down
        • Slowerfaster says:

          Gerrymandered ‘safe’ districts are most often political deals done by the two major parties…usually a one-to-one trade. That’s how the two districts the 22nd of Thomas and the 23rd of Capps were so strange in shape and political makeup.
          The Republicans controlled the HOR then , and Thomas was high-ranking (#3) in GOP leadership, so figure it out who did the finagling.
          The benefit of creating ‘safe’ districts, by both parties, is so that they don’t have to spend as much on re-election. Only when there is a contested primary do voters get a real choice.
          Now we have this so-called “jungle primary” concocted by none other than Maldonado.
          It would be sweet if it boomeranged on him and he came in third.Would serve him right for this failing upward pol that doesn’t pay his taxes.

          (-8) 12 Total Votes - 2 up - 10 down
          • BeenThereDoneThat says:

            I like most of what you said except that you HAD to point out about the republicans (your bias is showing). This is why things don’t get done. People don’t want to see that before that in ’90 the Dems controlled and so on and so forth etc. Back to point. We should stop it, no matter who’s party is in.

            (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
            • Slowerfaster says:

              Yes, I admit that I have a bias for science, thought, debate, social responsibility, civic duty, concern for those less privileged, and a bit of patriotic pride.

              The current Republican LEADERSHIP has none of that.
              Why others that DO have some or all of these qualities are fooled into voting for these crooks and frauds is beyond me.

              Just how do you compromise, or even co-operate with with people like Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell who said his one, ONE priority was in seeing that President Obama only had one term ?
              Or how about that crazy Alan West that is a red-baiter straight out of the 50’s ? Now, when even IN the 50’s when McCarthy did his shameless witch hunts there were at least a few nominal Communists around.

              The Republican party has gone on the full loop crazy train, and anyone with normal intelligence or above knows it !

              (-4) 16 Total Votes - 6 up - 10 down
              • BeenThereDoneThat says:

                Well I’m not going to get into a debate that won’t change either of our minds. My point was to the article and that both parties gerrymander.

                (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
            • Slowerfaster says:

              Another thing….Things don’t get done because Republicans DON’T WANT things to get done !

              They are the worst WASTE, RUST, and MOTH Do-Nothings on the planet !

              On top of that, they are COWARDS ! Look how many CHICKEN HAWKS are Republicans !
              If this type had been in charge in WWII, we would be speaking German now, and my family would have been exterminated.

              Today’s Republicans are THAT BAD. Some are just thoughtless, but there are some that are really, REALLY evil.

              (-7) 17 Total Votes - 5 up - 12 down
              • BeenThereDoneThat says:

                I hate myself for doing this. I told myself I wouldn’t get drug into your b.s. but your revisionist history kills me.

                For the record on WWII. Through the thirties as Hitler grew in power, it was the liberals that wanted us to stay out of Europe and to remain isolationists. I know in your reality you want to believe something else but it is what it is.

                (-1) 7 Total Votes - 3 up - 4 down
                • Structure says:

                  Progressives and socialists were strong in the isolationist movement, but not the only ones. Many Southern conservatives were also on board. And of course, the BIG L (FDR) while professing a desire not to get dragged into another European war was clearly in favor of greater involvement. Just saying…

                  (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
            • MaryMalone says:

              Just because someone is biased doesn’t mean their opinion is flawed.

              If only unbiased people offered opinions, there would be like six opinions issued, planet-wide, per year.

              (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
          • unlisted says:

            Thomas was a Federal representative and the district boundaries were set by the State. How did Thomas have any say in them?

            (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
  7. pasojim says:

    Everything the supervisors do is political.

    This is just another example of irresponsible jugdes ledgislating from the bench.

    (3) 25 Total Votes - 14 up - 11 down
    • Typoqueen says:

      What a load of cr@p. Not everything they do is political. Some of you guys just take this evil politician thing too far. If everything they did was political then they wouldn’t have enforced the the code violations out at DeVaul’s ranch, although they did the right thing it was a terrible political move and they knew that. You are doing what is so often done here, fishing to find something to bag on the supes about.

      (-3) 15 Total Votes - 6 up - 9 down

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