After every census, the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors are required to reevaluate district lines to ensure that population is equally distributed between the five districts so that each citizen’s vote counts equally. A Redistricting Steering Committee and an Ad Hoc Citizen’s Advisory Committee have been holding public meetings in each community over the last eight months to gather feedback in order to form alternatives for the Supervisors’ consideration.
Option 1 and Option 2 were released to the public for review on August 1, 2011.After additional review a third option was brought to the board at Tuesday’s, August 23, 2011, Board Meeting called Option 2 – Alternative that addressed some clean-up adjustments. The main difference between the two options was the effect on the City of Ceres with Option 1 keeping the city whole in District 5 while option 2 split the city into District 4 and District 5.
“Bottom line, there’s pros and cons with both maps and we could debate this all day,” said Vice Chair William O’Brien, who represents District 1. “I could go for either map.”
“I’m glad that in both options that the Westside has all been kept intact, and that’s the way it really needs to be,” said District 5 Supervisor Jim DeMartini.
“In a perfect world, it’d be nice to have Ceres all together,” said DeMartini. "Ideally, I’d like to have all of Ceres, but the numbers just don’t work out."
As long as DeMartini could remember, Ceres has always been split between two Supervisors.
“As far as Ceres is concerned, I don’t think there’s any perfect solution for Ceres,” said District 3 Supervisor Terry Withrow.
"Today it comes down to two things, it seems to me; it’s either keeping Ceres whole, or putting Supervisor DeMartini in a position that he goes from Newman all the way to Empire," stated District 2 Supervisor Vito Chiesa. “I think the changes on both maps are logical and can be explained out.”
Supervisor Chiesa’s District 2, which includes Turlock, has been largely left intact.
The City of Ceres and the supervisors universally supported keeping Ceres in one district however the large population made it difficult to balance the other districts.
The Board unanimously voted to set the new Supervisor District lines according to Option 2 – Alternative as it best addressed all districts and kept a more compact District 5. The alternative was chosen over the original Option 2 because it also mirrored existing lines for school districts, Municipal Advisory Councils and kept as much of Ceres in District 5 as possible.
A summary of the changes are as follows:
District 1 (Modesto) and 3 (Modesto) remained mostly the same with minor adjustments to mirror school district boundries.
District 2 (Turlock, Denair, Hughson, and Keyes) loses a portion of Ceres and gains the Chatom School District boundries.
District 4 will contain a portion of Modesto’s population along with a small percentage of Ceres’ population.
District 5 (Westside) will contain the majority of Ceres’ population along with the Westside communities of Patterson, Newman, Westly and Grayson
A final reading of the redistricting plan will be at the August 30, 2011, meeting as part of the consent calendar.