News

Board of Supervisors hears presentation on redistricting

Public hearings set for June and July

At their Tuesday meeting, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors accepted a presentation on redistricting and set a schedule of public workshops to be held in June and July.

"We are very gratified by the response of interest we have had on this subject. Ten years ago, interest wasn't as high and there weren't requests for public meetings," said Board Chair and District Two Supervisor Gayle Uilkema.

The county is required to look at its five district boundaries every ten years following the federal Census so that the districts are as "nearly equal in population as may be" and comply with the Voting Rights Act. Contra Costa's population has grown 10 percent since 2000 to 1,049,025; the change requires each district to have about 210,000 people.

The board was presented with four conceptual maps, three of which split district three (which currently includes Danville, Alamo and San Ramon) due a large population increase.

"District three has grown the largest, by about 50,000," said District Three Supervisor Mary Piepho. "I want to keep the area as whole as possible. I consider Alamo to San Ramon the San Ramon Valley and will advocate keeping them together as communities of like interest."

Under the first concept, Alamo would succeed to Supervisor Uilkema's district and keep San Ramon and Danville within district three boundaries. The second concept keeps Alamo within Piepho's supervision and puts San Ramon and Danville in district two while the fourth concept has Alamo in district four with its southern neighbors in district two. Only concept three keeps the entire San Ramon Valley in the same district.

While Piepho said she thinks concepts two and three are "very workable," it is too early to advocate for any particular plan.

"What we saw (Tuesday) is very fluid and may be very different from what we see later. It's very, very conceptual," Piepho said.

Just as members of citizen's group Contra Costa Redistricting Task Force presented alternatives on Tuesday to the county's four plans, Contra Costa Conservation and Development Director Catherine Kutsuris said the concepts discussed are not final.

"There is an almost an unending number of alternatives. From wherever you happen to stand, you will perceive map possibilities very, very differently," Kutsuris said.

Supervisor Uilkema said she believes the county's plans will need some tweaking.

"I think what we want to do is maintain communities of interest and avoid splitting communities as much as we can," she said. "There are a bunch of things you can use to define a community of interest -- a city boundary, unincorporated community or school district."

In addition to the possible removal of Alamo from the same district as San Ramon and Danville, each of the four concepts splits Walnut Creek between two districts.

The county has until November to redraw its district lines. For more information on redistricting, including public hearing dates, visit ccredistricting.org

Comments

Posted by [removed], a resident of Alamo
on May 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Dear Editor,

One comment seems questionable: "In addition to the possible removal of Alamo from the same district as San Ramon and Danville.."

Alamo is separate from the San Ramon Valley and is more akin to Walnut Creek which serves as its "downtown." Having Alamo as part of the Lamorinda/Walnut Creek region provides communities in-common for the majority of residents of Alamo. For more than 10 years neighborhoods have referred to our region as "Alamorinda" and now we have a chance to have Walnut Creek as our economic HUB and Lamorinda as our very comfortable relationship with county government.

Concept plan #1 offers part of this result and linkage to Walnut Creek as a whole part of CCC District 2 would define the valuable outcome of communities in-common. Thanks to Supervisor Gayle for her exceptional recognition of how communities must be able to work together to support one supervisor as their voice.


Posted by askidoo, a resident of Alamo
on May 7, 2011 at 10:18 am

Alamo children attend the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. Fire services are through the San Ramon Valley Fire District. And Alamo itself is part of the San Ramon Valley. Those things mean as a community that identification is more with SRV than with Lafayette or Walnut Creek with whom no services are shared.


Posted by [removed], a resident of Alamo
on May 7, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Dear Editor.

Correction: Four originating maps from SPRR, CCC, and Federal Grant records, 1888 to 1923, the San Ramon Valley exists south of present day Diablo Road, west of Green Valley to the base of the western hills. The south boundary is north of the county line where the east and west hills narrow. SRVUSD boundaries are district designations and not actual geographical designations defining the San Ramon Valley. SRV Fire District boundaries are district designations and not actual geographical designations defining the San Ramon Valley.

If you review the originating map of our corridor included in the SPRR right-of-way document, you will see Alamo was only a small area of current west Alamo along the San Ramon Creek (Arroyes de las Nueces [Ria] noted on the Spanish maps) extending from Camille on the south to slightly north of Livorna. Livorna Heights, Miranda, Round Hill areas were not considered Alamo until the mid-20th Century.

Thus, majority culture defines Alamo and its communities in-common. With moderate political and economic focus and global perspective for our future, our majority is more akin to Walnut Creek and Lamorinda.


Posted by dbrower, a resident of Alamo
on May 7, 2011 at 9:26 pm

I can't say any of those make sense to me. Alamo, Danville and San Ramon probably belong together. It makes no sense to have Danville and Morage together. It makes no sense for Oakley and Brentwood to be in the same district as San Ramon or Walnut Creek. The only one that is close is #2, except that Alamo should be with Danville, not Walnut Creek, and maybe move D4 up to Highway 4 to make up some of the difference.

I think the argument that Alamo shares services with the SRV agencies is practical and should be conclusive to ancient history and perceptions of cutural dominance. The part of Alamo I live in is surrounded by Walnut Creek, but I still go to Danville as culturally more "home" -- and we moved from Walnut Creek.

-dB




Posted by home_danville, a resident of Danville
on May 10, 2011 at 4:24 pm

To [removed] ... consider being part of Danville as a privilege. Even folks who live in Danville go to WC since it has much bigger retail footprint. "Alamorinda", really! Please don't make up stuff.


Posted by Slim, a resident of San Ramon
on May 10, 2011 at 5:20 pm

If this all gets based on the US Census for 2010 I wouldn't give you a plug nickel for its accuracy. Some of the neighborhood maps they used were totally out of sync with what was to be found on the ground. Correcting the maps was, apparently, out of the question and they just forged ahead anyway. Only God knows how much of an error this produced. They like to brag about how accurate the census is but who is going to challenge them? There is no follow-up study to corroborate the findings and there is no independent audit. We don't have much choice but to live with the numbers they come up with but it is probably more important to work with the districting that makes the most sense from a geographic and economic point of view than the supposed populations of each of the entities involved.


Posted by concerned citizen, a resident of Diablo
on May 11, 2011 at 10:01 am

Forget the 4 maps drawn by the County's Conservation and Development Department, which as you can imagine were drawn to please and protect their bosses' (the 5 Supervisors) political ambitions and interests. Instead, look at the map drawn by Dan Borenstein of the Contra Costa Times, and the map drawn by the Redistricting Task Force of the County Republican Party. The maps are very similar and accomplish the goals of geographic proximity and keeping cities and Census Designated Places together. Concord, the largest city in the County, is the only city divided among districts in either of those maps. Lamorinda and the San Ramon Valley are together. The maps eliminate the geographic insanity that is the current District 3 (Mary Piepho's district) which circumnavigates Mt. Diablo in order to tie Discovery Bay with the San Ramon Valley. Please see Dan Borenstein's map at ContraCostaTimes.com, posted 4/30/2011. An earlier, but close to current, version of the Redistricting Task Force's map (called "Plan A")is available at ccredistricting.org. Make sure to attend the Redistricting Workshop with Mary Piepho on Thursday, May 26, from 7-8:30 at the Alamo Women's Club, 1401 Danville Blvd., Alamo, to express your views!!!


Posted by Common Sense, a resident of another community
on May 11, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Dictates that Mary Piepho should be holding here get together in Brentwood not Alamo. District III should have never extended over the hill. The huge waste in taxpayer costs to have two staffed offices so far away in the same district makes no sense for residents. Borensteins map or any map like option 4 that keeps the areas of the county more realistic and less vast will save money, time, and allow the supervisor to a spend more time with their constituents.


Posted by Alamo resident, a resident of Alamo
on May 11, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Yes, "Alamorinda" p l e a z e. Who does come up with this stuff? We have lived in Alamo 40 years and are part of the Valley population- neither WC nor Brentwood.


Posted by [removed], a resident of Alamo
on May 13, 2011 at 10:12 am

Dear Editor,

Your readers can attend CCC redistricting workshops in Walnut Creek and Alamo, May 16 and May 26. Please refer to the following website:

Web Link


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