The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] – Volume 22, Number 41
The cutting commission selects the final preferred card
By Taylor O’Connor
The Santa Barbara County Independent Redistribution Commission drew a final map of the county at its Dec. 4 meeting.
This meeting marks the end of a year-long journey to redraw the Santa Barbara County District boundaries that align with 2020 census data as well as to highlight communities of interest, such as tenants and the Latin American electoral population. The new boundaries will remain intact for the next 10 years, and this map has an impact on the distribution of the county’s electoral population.
“We have spent five to six months collecting information from the public, and we will continue to do so today,” said Commissioner Glenn Morris. “The ordinance gives the commission the responsibility of drawing the final map, and it’s our turn. This may lead to the adoption of one of the three maps presented, or to minor or substantial changes to a map.
The final favorite card-modified from the current district lines – places the Cuyama valley and the watershed in the 1st district, divides Goleta between the 2nd and 3rd districts, maintains the Santa Ynez valley and part of the coastline in the 3rd district, maintains the city of Lompoc in the 3rd arrondissement, places the space force base Vandenberg in the 4th arrondissement and Guadalupe with Santa Maria in the 5th arrondissement.
The commission used Card 822 as a model due to its low population deviation, and extracted elements from other maps – like Cuyama being in the 1st district – to respect the wishes of the community and find a compromise as commissioners.
“We can take elements of [one] map and apply them to another; it’s an opportunity for us to apply what we’ve learned, ”Morris said.
The residents of Santa Barbara County have expressed opinions both for and against this card. At the meeting, county resident Amy Blair said she was happy with the outcome.
“I am happy that we have found a compromise and that everyone’s voices are heard and represented in Santa Barbara County. We’ve brought communities of interest together, maybe we haven’t made everyone happy, but it’s a hell of a good compromise, ”she said.
Lompoc Mayor Jenelle Osborne was grateful that Lompoc stayed together, but worried about Space Force Base Vandenberg.
“I appreciate that Lompoc remains whole, but [I’m] disappointed that we were not regrouped with the Vandenberg region. Instead, we were considered all ag. We are not all ag, we are not all retirees, we are a city of 44,000 people, ”said Osborne.
The current district boundaries include Lompoc and Vandenberg in the 3rd district, and they have historically been included together for city and county issues.
Resident Carol Redhead liked the map and thinks it represents the county well.
“I remember the mayor of Santa Maria and the people of Guadalupe who wanted to be together. I’m so glad most of Lompoc is in [District] 3 with the huge [agricultural] areas of Los Olivos, Ballard, Solvang and Buellton. I’m so glad that the 55,000 single students at UCSB are no longer in District 3. It’s a good compromise, ”said Redhead.
This map is not yet complete; the final map will be selected on December 8 at 6 p.m. after the commission has discussed adjustments, if necessary, and obtained an analysis of the data from the National Demographics Corporation. The absolute deadline for the adoption of the card is December 15th.