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.