Jessica Cejnar / Thursday, June 10 @ 4:59 p.m. / Local Government
Del Norte County Supervisors Move Ahead With Advisory Redistricting Commission
An advisory commission will make recommendations to the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors as it continues the redistricting process.
Required under the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause, supervisors will look at county population data as of the 2020 Census and redraw district lines to ensure each has equal representation, according to Assistant County Counsel Autumn Luna.
According to Luna, advisory commissions are new this year, but aren’t mandatory. The Board of Supervisors could have appointed an independent commission or a hybrid of the two, she said.
“If we were to do an advisory redistricting commission, the Board itself would have the authority to appoint,” Luna said. “I think what we would likely do in that instance is to have an application process. I’m imagining something similar to what we did with the Measure R oversight committee.”
The Board of Supervisors has the option to choose how they appoint an advisory redistricting commission and who they appoint, Luna said. The Board of Supervisors retains decision-making authority during the redistricting process, according to Luna’s staff report.
Though the necessary Census data won’t be available until Sept. 30, the nine-month redistricting process must include four public hearings as well as the creation of a website to make information gathered during the process available to the public, Luna told supervisors in March.
At that March 24 meeting, Luna said, based on 2010 Census data, Del Norte County’s five supervisor districts should have had about 5,000 residents each. Instead District 1 had 4,935 people; District 2’s population was 4,788; District 3 had 4,840 residents; District 4 had 5,157 residents and District 5 had 5,422 people.
Most California counties are using advisory commissions to get through the redistricting process. Four to five are using independent commissions — San Diego and Los Angeles counties are required to use independent commissions, Luna said.
“The only county doing none of these was San Luis Obispo,” she said. “That’s still an option — if the Board wants to take on the whole shebang, they can.”
Upon hearing that the Board of Supervisors’ preference was to establish an advisory commission, Luna said she’d bring a resolution before them in about two weeks.