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County seeking input on district boundaries

June 28, 2011

Less than a handful of residents turned out last Tuesday for the county’s public hearing on the possible redrawing of supervisorial district boundaries. No comments were received. Photo by Mike Gervais

Local leaders are looking to the public for input on where supervisorial districts should be drawn.
Every 10 years, after the federal census is complete, the county is required to review its district boundaries and, if the population change found by the census shows a shift in the county’s population, re-draw the boundaries to be sure each county supervisor is serving approximately the same number of citizens.
According to Planning Director Josh Hart, each supervisor must represent between 17 and 23 percent of the population.
In Inyo, two districts are close to those limits, but still within the state and federal requirements.
Because the county is within the population requirements, Hart has recommended that the board keep the current supervisorial districts as they are, but before that decision can be made, the community must have an opportunity to comment on the staff recommendation.
The first public hearing was held Wednesday in Bishop. No residents commented on the proposal.
The second hearing is scheduled to be held in Independence Tuesday, July 19.
According to Hart, the most populated supervisorial district is District 2, represented by Supervisor Susan Cash. That district, which includes the City of Bishop, holds 22.5 percent of the population.
The smallest district, District 4 represented by Supervisor Marty Fortney, covers an area from just south of the Bishop City limits to just north of Lone Pine. That district represents about 17.1 percent of the county’s population.
Hart said his office decided to hold the public hearings regarding the district boundary lines in Bishop and Independence because those are the communities with the least and most citizens being represented, respectively.
The First District, represented by Supervisor Linda Arcularius, covers an area from the northern County line to the areas of Bishop Creek and Starlite. That district represents 20.4 percent of the population.
District 3, represented by Supervisor Rick Pucci,covers the Bishop Paiute Tribe and unincorporated communities just west of Bishop and represents about 21.8 percent of the population.
The largest geographic district is District 5, represented by Supervisor Richard Cervantes, and covers from Lone Pine to the southern county line and east to Death Valley and the Nevada state line. That district is home to approximately 18.2 percent of the county’s population.
Traditionally, local governing bodies are responsible for adopting the new district lines. The state does allow an advisory committee, and for counties there is a provision for a commission of elected county officials to do the redistricting if the Board of Supervisors fails to do it by Nov. 1 of the year following the census.

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