Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Tuesday, Nov. 2 @ 2:05 p.m. / Elections, Local Government
Draft Maps, With New District Boundaries, Released to Public, Will Go Before Del Norte Supervisors Next Week
For the first time in recent history, Del Norte County elected officials will consider adopting maps with new district lines.
At meeting on Oct. 26, the Advisory Redistricting Commission voted to send four draft maps to the Board of Supervisors for consideration and adoption at its Nov. 9 meeting.
All of them show district boundaries that are different from the current maps, according to committee chairman, David Jones. The maps were posted on the county’s redistricting website Friday and are available for public comment, Jones said during a Crescent City Council meeting Monday.
“Most of the people that were on the committee liked the Draft One map, which is most closely related to the district lines (as) they are now,” he said. “The other three maps that are there, you can look at, but they don’t really represent, in my opinion, the best way that the county diversity is.”
In addition to being able to provide public comment via email, the public can speak at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Nov. 9.
The Board of Supervisors can then make additional changes or gather more public input and bring the maps back for consideration on Dec. 14, Deputy County Counsel Autumn Luna said. But they must make a decision by Dec. 15.
Redistricting is required under the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Claus and redraws supervisor district lines using demographic data from the 2020 Census to ensure each is equally represented.
The new boundaries take effect the date the Board of Supervisors adopts them, Luna said.
“We only do this once every 10 years and the maps didn’t get re-drawn last time,” she said. “It’s been a very long time. There’s nobody on the board who’s been through this process.”
Under each of the four maps, a wedge-shaped section between Railroad Avenue and Parkway Drive north to Elk Valley Cross Road would fall under District 4 instead of its current iteration as part of District 5.
The first draft map most closely adheres to the current boundary lines, though keeping them identical is impossible because census blocs have changed in the past decade. The first map extends the District 4 boundary to include Point St. George and the Del Norte County Airport.
The second draft maps puts Crescent City and the Crescent City Harbor into District 1.
Under the current map, portions of the city are included in Districts 1 and 2, which are currently represented by Darrin Short and Valerie Starkey respectively.
The Crescent City Harbor is in District 5, which is currently represented by Bob Berkowitz.
The third draft map keeps the Crescent City Harbor in District 5 along with the Bertsch-Oceanview neighborhood.
The fourth draft map puts Klamath, Gasquet and Hiouchi into District 3. All four of Del Norte County’s federally-recognized tribes are also in District 3, which extends north to the Oregon border.
Klamath is currently in Del Norte County District 5 while Gasquet, Hiouchi and Smith River are in District 3. District 4 is west of U.S. 101 and south of the Smith River.
Chris Howard represents District 3 and Gerry Hemmingsen represents District 4.
On Monday, Jones told the Crescent City Council that the first draft map was the best option of the four.
“The City of Crescent City would have only one member instead of two members that there are now,” Jones said, referring to the Board of Supervisors. “I think the City of Crescent City deserves to have two county board members to voice your opinion when things go before the county.”
The Del Norte County Board of Supervisors will meet at 10 a.m. Nov. 9 at the Flynn Center, 981 H Street in Crescent City.