By Mario Conde
The County Board of Supervisors accepted the first draft of their re-districting map for the next ten years.
The County heard a presentation by County CEO Ralph Cordova in regards to the process made to re-draw the County Districts. The Imperial County Board of Supervisors established a five member Redistricting Advisory Committee and was given the responsibility of developing realignments proposals to make each districts as “nearly equal in population as may be” Cordova Said. The RAC provided three proposed district changes for consideration by the Board of Supervisors. The RAC has spent the past several months hosting publicly noticed community workshops in each supervisorial district seeking the public’s input as the RAC. These workshops were held in Calexico, El Centro, Imperial, Holtville, and Brawley.
Cordova said only few members of the public attended the meetings and several of the meetings had no public attendance. No member of the public has specifically objected to any of the maps being considered. The only concerns expressed were from several residents who asked that Heber remain in District 2. However, Cordova said, none of the proposed maps call for Heber to be moved away from District 2. The RAC made attempts to determine if El Centro could be reduced to two Supervisors instead of three; however, the RAC was unable to find a workable map that could accomplish this. In addition, the RAC explored putting Brawley in one district; however, such a move caused a lack of contiguity in the district boundaries. Early in the redistricting process the RAC decided to exclude the population of State Prison inmates housed in Calipatria and Centinela State Prison.
District1 could have the big changes since it will pick-up the Andrade Port-of-Entry and thus consolidating the County’s three port of entries into one district. District one could also take over Winterhaeven and lose the northeastern portion of Calexico which includes the area of Cole, Bowker, and Turquoise. The north part of Calexico will move into District 5 which is represented by Ray Castillo. The other option is to have the west side of Calexico move to District 2 which is represented by Jack Terrazas.
RAC Chairman Roberto Moreno thanked the Board and County staff for their help and said the proposed maps are fair since every district has incorporated and unincorporated areas for them to represent. The Board accepted the proposed maps and now the next step is for them to hold a public hearing and then adopt the new district maps. The adoption of the maps could happen in the next two weeks.