Jessica Cejnar / Thursday, July 29, 2021 @ 1:05 p.m.
Advisory Redistricting Commission Set; County Counsel Says A District 4 Representative is Needed
Eight Del Norte County residents, representing four out of its five supervisorial districts, will serve on an advisory commission as supervisors go through the redistricting process.
According to Assistant County Counsel Autumn Luna, all eight applicants were chosen to participate in the advisory commission.
Luna asked county supervisors on Tuesday to allow her to conduct additional outreach to recruit an applicant for Del Norte County District 4, which isn’t represented on the advisory redistricting commission.
“With some additional outreach we will be able to find a qualified applicant,” Luna said. “The recommendation would be to have the commission appoint that member at their meeting on Saturday.”
The eight committee members include Denise Doyle-Schnacker, David Jones, Jerry Cochran, Gino deSolenni, Karen Olson, Karen Sanders, Lupe Gutierrez and Tamera Leighton.
Leighton represents Del Norte County District 1, Sanders and Cochran represent District 2, Gutierrez represents District 3 and Doyle-Schnacker, Jones and Olson represent District 5.
The advisory commission is tasked with making recommendations to the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors as it continues the redistricting process, which began in March.
Required under the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause, supervisors will look at county population data and redraw district lines to ensure each has equal representation.
On Tuesday, Luna said she anticipates there could be adjustments to district boundaries based on the change in Census data over the last decade. However in response to a question from District 5 Supervisor Bob Berkowitz, who noted that District 1 had the smallest number of residents in it versus his own district, Luna said she couldn’t “predict anything at this point.”
“We should have the numbers in a couple of months,” she said. “That will be the time when we can start making more educated guesses about whether or not we’ll need new maps.”
District 2 Supervisor Valerie Starkey, who has been conducting outreach to Klamath on behalf of Berkowitz, who has been dealing with medical issues, asked if a commission member was from Klamath.
Berkowitz said Jones is president of the Klamath Chamber of Commerce.
Though Census data won’t be available until Sept. 30, the redistricting process mustinclude four public hearings and the creation of a website to make sure information gathered is available to the public, according to Luna.
In March, Luna told supervisors that, based on the 2010 Census, Del Norte’s supervisorial districts should have had about 5,000 residents each. However, District 1 had 4,935 people; District 2’s population was 4,788; District 3 had 4,840 residents; District 4’s population was 5,157 people; and District 5 had 5,422 residents.