By Karen Brainard
A proposed redistricting map of Ramona Municipal Water District’s five divisions received preliminary approval by the water board.
While each division contains some changes to its boundaries, none of the directors will be affected as each director’s residence remains in the division he represents, said RMWD General Manager David Barnum.
The redistricting proposal was prepared by Shepherd and Staats Inc. of Vista, the same firm that developed the water district’s redistricting approximately 10 years ago. Public agencies in California must adjust or redistrict the division boundaries of elected officials after every federal census, which is conducted every 10 years. The redistricting is done in accordance with the California Water Code and Election Code.
With the five divisions split among a population of 33,568, each division was balanced with approximately 6,700 residents.
“Division 5 needed to lose the most population,” said Roxanne Shepherd of Shepherd and Staats.
Division 2 Director Kit Kesinger expressed concerns about divisions 3 and 5, both of which contain portions of San Diego Country Estates. Kesinger, who represents Division 2, said he would rather see all of Country Estates in one division.
Kesinger referred to the redistricting conducted 10 years ago when he previously served on the water board.
“One of the goals of that redistricting was to have a single board member represent San Diego Country Estates,” he said at the Nov. 8 meeting.
Kesinger said there is the potential for the Estates to dominate with two board positions.
However, other board members noted that, if all of the Estates was in one division, that division would retain a greater population than the others.
Both divisions 3 and 5 include areas outside of the Country Estates. Kesinger suggested putting all of those outside areas into one division so all of the Estates could be in another division.
Kesinger acknowledged that population is one requirement for dividing districts but also said community character can be a factor.
“I’m not suggesting one director end up with more population than another,” he said.
RMWD Legal Counsel Sophie Akins of Best, Best and Krieger said the population difference must be within 5 percent. With the Country Estates consisting of nearly 10,000 people, that would put it beyond 5 percent as compared to the other divisions.
Board President Bryan Wadlington questioned how the number of divisions for the water district was derived. Akins said the Ramona Municipal Water District code states that there will be five divisions.
“I think this is a pretty good distribution, myself,” Wadlington said of the proposal.
The board voted 5-0 as a preliminary approval. Barnum said it will be brought back to the board for final approval on Dec. 27. It needs to be submitted to the County of San Diego Registrar of Voters by July 2012 so voting precincts can be created in time for the November 2012 election, said Barnum.
Some of the changes include:
Division 1, represented by Director Darrell Beck, would have an additional area, just south of Main Street, to include portions of First through Fifth streets.
Division 2 would gain an area of Mussey Grade Road and portions by Southern Oak Road and Rancho Maria Lane.
Division 3, represented by Wadlington, would lose an area by Mussey Grade and the area around Rancho Maria Lane and Southern Oak to Division 2. An area around Third Street and another near Creelman Lane would change to Division 4. Added to Division 3 and removed from Division 5 would be an area in the Country Estates on the south side of Pappas Road between Rio Verde Drive and Davis Cup Lane. In addition, an area around Oakley Road would move from Division 5 to Division 3.
Division 4, represented by Director Joe Zenovic, would see an additional area at Creelman Lane, Hanson Lane, Ashley Road and Keyes Road.
Division 5, represented by Director Everett “Red” Hager, would lose the area around Oakley Road and by Pappas Road that would go to Division 3.
Anyone interested in seeing the proposed maps of the five divisions can stop by the Ramona Municipal Water District office at 105 Earlham St. or call 760-789-1330.