By John Knight
District 1 supervisor
I have received a number of calls and questions in the past few months about redistricting in El Dorado County and especially around District 1, which currently covers major sections of El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park.
I was surprised that the redistricting of supervisorial districts, which is required by law, could be so controversial and spark intense interest. I personally met with district constituents from the Four Seasons community in El Dorado Hills, Bass Lake constituents and others interested individuals in Cameron Park to discuss concerns and hear about other possible redistricting ideas.
El Dorado County staff originally presented five alternatives to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors. After various meetings were completed, staff presented their recommendations to the board on June 28, 2011.
At the July 19, 2011, regular Board of Supervisors meeting I requested and received agreement to continue the further discussion of redistricting so that we could gain further community input. At the Aug. 8, 2011, board meeting I presented a new redistricting map known as the Knight Cameron Park Plan. This map I believed would best reflect where El Dorado County is being developed. This new map was based upon community input and was not approved by the board. However, a revised map was brought forth and approved by the board during this meeting.
In addition to the above discussions on redistricting there were 17 official and unofficial meetings conducted around the county on this topic.
For those not familiar with the redistricting process, it has its roots beginning with the signing and implementation of our federal Constitution in 1788, which requires a census every 10 years. This census data is used in a number of ways, including redistricting of federal, state and county districts. The requirements for redistricting include conducting the process one year after the national population census occurs, in this case 2010, and based on that data determining the geographic areas of redistricting.
Work of the board in redistricting
The Board of Supervisors studied the requirements for redistricting and put forth restricting plans for all districts (1-5) with opportunity for public comment beginning in March 2011. The work of the Board of Supervisors is guided by the U.S. Constitution, the state Elections Code and the federal Voting Rights act. Together, these laws require that the districts be as equal in population as possible, and that the voting strength of a minority will not be diminished. The Elections Code recommends the following criteria be considered in establishing district boundaries: community of like interests, compactness, respect for other political district lines, geography, topography and contiguity.
The current plans for District 1 show that El Dorado Hills will fully be District 1 only and that Cameron Park will be part of District 2. I am very grateful for the good thinking and honest dialogue with current District 1 folks. Because of such great input, I believe I can best represent the ideas and follow the requirements needed when decisions on redistricting are made.
I’m looking forward to another beautiful fall season in our area and hearing from you. I’ll be keeping you posted monthly on current topics, issues and needs in District 1. Please feel free to contact my office at [email protected].
Until next time, be well and God bless.