SLO County takes no action on redistricting, admits errors

October 27, 2021

A map drawn by Richard Patten, with major changes to district lines.

By KAREN VELIE

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors discussed multiple redistricting proposals Tuesday evening, while staff fielded allegations county council misrepresented California’s Election Code.

At the start of the board meeting, staff referred to an inaccurate portrayal of the Election Code’s list of five priorities in the staff report as a “typo.” County counsel deleted the priority to promote communities of interest based on proximity and replaced it with the requirement “not to favor or discriminate against any political party.”

“There was a typographical error in the staff report,” said SLO County Administrative Analyst Kristin Eriksson. “Staff inadvertently deleted the language of the fifth consideration.”

Every 10 years, counties use new census data to redraw their boundaries to reflect changing populations and new legislative requirements.

Representing Redistricting Partners, a consulting firm hired by the county, Chris Chaffee helped county staff construct four maps, while relying on public input seeking to keep District 2 as it is and to leave Oceano in District 4. Chaffee explained that many of the maps submitted by the public failed to meet the 10% population deviation requirement.

During Tuesday’s meeting, nearly 70% of the 31 public speakers asked the board of supervisors to place the city of San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly in one district. The majority of the speakers encouraged the board to select a map drawn by Arroyo Grande resident Richard Patten, which puts most of San Luis Obispo in a district with Cal Poly and Morro Bay.

The remaining 10 speakers asked the board to make little or no changes to the current district layout, with claims that if it is not broken there is no reason for change. Because current district boundaries remain within the 10% deviation requirement, the board could elect to keep the boundaries the same for the next 10 years.

In Map A, districts remain primarily unchanged.

Speakers on both sides of the redistricting argument chastised county staff for failing to place all the submitted maps with the meeting agenda, or in an easily accessible place on the county website.

Supervisor John Peschong then asked county staff to post all submitted maps on the same page and in the same format on the county website.

Both supervisors Bruce Gibson and Dawn Ortiz-Legg voiced support for making no changes to the current district map, with Gibson moving a step further. Gibson wanted the board to start rejecting inadequate maps and to consider shortening the time to submit maps, which currently has a Nov. 21 deadline.

Rejecting Gibson’s proposal, supervisors Lynn Compton and Debbie Arnold wanted more public engagement, including retaining the already allotted time to submit and correct maps.

In the end, the board made no changes to the Nov. 21 deadline to submit maps.

The Board of Supervisors will conduct a third redistricting hearing on Nov. 12 and a fourth on Nov. 30.


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diamond

When your mayor resigns immediately after the FBI starts an investigation into bribery & another chose suicide…of course we 100% believe we’re dealing with honest representatives.


R.Hodin

A “community of interest” is in the eye of the beholder. There’s no better example of a community of interest than your social media feed. Everyone looks like you, and thinks like you. If that’s how you want to be governed, then America is not for you.


aye-caramba

This has to be my least favorite public spectacle. The self-righteous posturing is so nauseating. Let’s be HONEST. The political power with the majority vote works to benefit themselves. To do anything less is just dumb. That is the way it has worked since people ruled each other. So lefties, go take an antacid, call your therapists and deal with it. And those on the right, do not pretend that “public good” is the driver.


obispan

You have to remember what Peschong does for a living. There is is no reason to modify the districts as would be required by population shifts. This is pure Peschong gerrymandering.


commonsenseguy

Error’s in staff’s report? No kidding. Who’s surprised by this? Sometimes you get caught in your own snare. Seems like county staff is more and more resembling many of these corrupt school boards all across the nation. Let’s peel back the onion and see what else the county staff is trying to railroad by the taxpayer. Go after the department heads and demand public hearings before the B.O.S. and make public the records. We employ all of them with our tax dollars. I demand accountability. Call, email, or go before the B.O.S. and ask to make it all public. I have a feeling there is a lot of wasted dollars and deeper corruption happening within county staff.


Boldguy

The big sticking point has to be, how to dilute the Cal Poly vote!!!

If that district voted to reelect drug user and corrupt Adam Hill, divide it up!!


slo-to-load

“dilute the vote” spoken like a true gerrymanderer! So it’s fine to do it as long as it’s helping your side get what you want? Pathetic!


Boldguy

Or to help all sides get what they deserve, which should be to stop twenty something temporary residents leaving political damage behind them like a boat wake!!!


derasmus

They, Cal Poly students, are itinerant residents, in my opinion they should not vote here but vote back in the region/community they are from. I wonder how many of them have voter registration back home in addition to SLO County? Two mail in ballots per student?


paragon

Voting twice in an election is a federal and state crime, no matter how you do it. It is laughably simple for the elections board to catch and they will prosecute you.


kayaknut

Is this from the same government machine that just gave out 20 billion, and counting, in fraudulent unemployment claims, yes different arm of the government but convince us we should expect any different attention to detail.


nunsense

so, how does it work for local elections? could they say vote for a local sales tax increase or a local rep here and then if there was a local election from their home town vote there as well? what if the elections are not held on the same day? honestly, I’m asking, would the board check roles from the two elections?


derasmus

I don’t know but apparently it’s “laughably simple.”


derasmus

Hmm…so I guess the feds are gonna prosecute the 75000 voters in Arizona that mailed in a ballot that there is no OFFICIAL record of having been sent out to begin with. Yes, an official audit (in Arizona) of the most recent election found this to be the case. Call it sloppiness or fraud. whatever.


You are dreaming if you think the “government “ will do anything about election malfeasance.


nunsense

it all depends on who’s ox is getting gored