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Sentinel staff report–
With the May 13 deadline now passed for the public to submit district voting maps for Citrus Heights, a total of nine map options were published Thursday on the city’s website.
Maps vary widely in determining boundaries for five new voting districts in Citrus Heights. Some follow major roads and existing neighborhood association boundaries, while others appear to follow creek boundaries or use other criteria.
The City Council will hold a public hearing on May 23 to give residents an opportunity to provide feedback on the maps and also possibly take action regarding one or more of the maps. A posting on the city’s website on Thursday said “the City Council’s actions may include modification of district boundaries, sequencing of elections, and such other matters as may be related to the formation of City Council districts.”
Final adoption of a district map is slated for June 13, 2019, following another public hearing.
Of the nine draft maps published on the city’s website, three were drawn up by National Demographics Corporation, the consultant group assisting the city with the process of switching over to district-based elections from the current at-large election system.
Six other maps were submitted by other individuals: Rodney Hart, Steve Wiggington, former council member Albert Fox, Frances Phipps, and two by Steve Demers, who is a Geographic Information Systems Analyst with the Sacramento County Elections Office.
Most maps, except for two labeled “Map 104” and “Map 109,” would create districts where two or more current council members live in the same district — meaning only one could maintain their seat on the council during a future election.
The council took action in January to begin the transition to district-based elections, following the receipt of a demand letter by a Malibu, Calif.-based attorney, Kevin Shenkman, who said the city’s current method of at-large elections to select council members dilutes the vote of Latino voters and violates the California Voting Rights Act, which favors district-based elections.
Under district-based elections, Citrus Heights will have five voting districts and each council member will be required to live in the district they represent and only be elected by voters of that district.
Want to share your thoughts on which map is the best option? Click here to submit a letter to the editor or opinion column for publication.
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