The Art of Re-Districting

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A few weeks back, I wrote about my utter glee when it comes to 2011: Year of the Re-Districting.

Well, the drafts are out, with a couple more to go, before something is final in the US Congress, the State Senate, the Assembly, the Orange County Supervisors, and the Newport Beach City Council.

So far, any shenanigans?

On the Congress front, Newport Beach’s Coastal Congressional District might become Ground Zero for all kinds of fireworks as Irvine/Newport Beach’s current Congressman, John Campbell, will probably face off against Costa Mesa/Huntington Beach’s current Congressman, Dana Rohrabacher, (full disclosure: I’m Dana’s Campaign Treasurer) AND Irvine Mayor, and Democratic Agranista, Sukhee Kang.  Talk about all kinds of money spent and mailboxes full of slick fliers.

For State Assembly, the first draft showed that Costa Mesa’s current Assemblyman, Allan Mansoor, might get to represent Newport Beach, but the latest drafts might include Irvine, and Newport Beach’s current Assemblyman Don Wagner, removing Costa Mesa, while adding Huntington Beach.  Yes, it’s a mess that will get messier when the newer incarnations come out.

For the Orange County Supervisors, nothing much changes.  We keep Supervisor John Moorlach…yawn…

Now, let’s look at the Newport Beach City Council Districts.  Mostly status quo, but with a couple of “Oh Boy” moments with the first draft getting all kind of crazy with two draft maps.

You see, Newport Beach’s Charter says that the City Council should consider redistricting based upon the 2010 US Census populations.

And currently, Councilmember Leslie Daigle’s District 4 and Councilmember Nancy Gardner’s District 6 have 4,000 to 5,000 more folks than any other of the City’s other five Districts, so the goal is to have Newport Beach’s 85,186 folks even distributed amongst all Seven City Council Districts.

Sounds easy right?

Option 1 and Option 2 maps are reproduced in full at the bottom of this post.

Well according the first draft map, Option 1 we’ll call it, the biggest WOW comes with Balboa Island being included with the Balboa Peninsula and Lido Island in Mayor Mike Henn’s District 1.

I think I can hear the complaints exploding upon City Hall right now from Balboa Island…pause.

But I think the three Councilmembers (Steve Rosansky, Nancy Gardner and Keith Curry) of the Re-districting Committee acknowledged that Option 1 might not be best polished with that inclusion.

So with the Option 2 map, Balboa Island is kept in Councilman Ed Selich’s Fifth District.  Instead, the First District is pushed along Coast Highway all the way to the Huntington Beach/Newport Beach border.

The issue with that would be that Newport Shores, along with River Avenue and the upper numbered streets have had the same Councilman for almost nine years in Steve Rosansky, and have not had an open seat in District 2 since 2000 when former Councilman Gary Proctor was first elected (in the same election, Rosansky came in a distant third out of three candidates).

So by the time 2012 rolls around, if West Newport is included in just-reelected Mayor Mike Henn’s District 1, they might just have to wait until 2014 before a new face from their area is on the City Council.

Is 14 years a long time to wait for new blood from West Newport on the City Council?

The wackiness of Option 2 continues with Councilman Rush Hill’s District 3 taking over most of Newport Crest and all of Newport Heights, while Rosansky’s District 2 moves up Irvine Avenue from 17th Street, all the way into Santa Ana Heights, where District 4 currently resides…

By looking at Option 2, one can’t help but get the overwhelming feeling that the map was drawn to specifically protect Councilman Rush Hill from having to run again for re-election in 2012 because normally, District 1 would always be  next to District 2.  Not in Option 2 as District 3 separates District 1 and 2.  Get it?  That’s ok…me neither.

Either way, there are still lots of work to be done with the City’s Re-Districting…

And if you live in a highly affected area (Balboa Island, West Newport), you might want to mosey on down to the next Re-Districting meeting to get your voice heard…and not have to rely on the rantings of a Re-districting-ophile like me.

Option 1
Option 2
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