She said pretty much everything has changed since 2011. Federal law changes, State Law changes and focus on AB 849: “the Board shall adopt supervisorial district boundaries using the following criteria as set forth in the following order of priority” geographically contiguous, “communities of interest” remain together, cities kept together, easily identifiable, compactness, and no partisan gerrymandering.
Long stated timelines were messed up due to COVID and are not projecting Census numbers will come out until September 30, 2021. On October 30, 2021 – Projected adjustment regarding prisoners in California. On November 5, 2021 – Maps can begin to be published and by December 15, 2021 – Maps must be drawn and approved by County.
She said the County has to hold four public meetings (at least one before the draft maps are drawn, at least three after draft maps are drawn and at least one on a weekend or weekday after 6 p.m.). Hearings can be held virtually. Long added they used to only have to have one public meeting. They must encourage public participation through website/media, which has to be maintained for 10 years. There are publication requirements, live translation and testimony from public live and in writing. Long gave the Board options for structuring their redistricting committee. Under Election Code Section 23001: “A local jurisdiction may establish by resolution, ordinance or charter amendment an independent redistricting commission, a hybrid redistricting commission, or an advisory redistricting commission composed of residents of the local jurisdiction to change the legislative body’s district boundaries or to recommend to the legislative body changes to those district.”
Board Chair Lee Adams stated the Board did some pretty big changes 10 years ago and thought that would help, adding 95% of Loyalton is now within one district. He felt they would only have to make some
minor adjustments. Long stated the process didn’t have to be difficult but will have to have the four hearings with public input. Supervisors Paul Roen and Peter Huebner wanted to do it In-House to which the Board gave consensus. Long said In-House would make it easier, adding the Board could have three of the four hearings during a regular meeting but would have to have one either on a weekend or after hours. , The Clerk will have a lot of additional work on her plate and will now need a record of every public comment and governing body made available to the public within two weeks of the comment, or hearing. These records must be stored for 10-years. Long stated it was really important that County builds a record for every decisions they are making. , Adams appreciated the State has made this more transparent and stated Sierra County has always been good, noting the oddest district was probably District 2 which encompasses Sierra City, Verdi and part of Loyalton. He looked forward to the process. Assessor Laura Marshall was given direction by consensus to get in touch with her Geographic Information System (GIS) contact.