Perris Union High School District residents want a plan with a sense of community

A handful of citizens within the Perris Union High School District have already set their sights on ...

A handful of citizens within the Perris Union High School District have already set their sights on a potential districting plan after the first of a series of meetings was held last night.

The public hearing took place in the Romoland School District boardroom but drew a crowd of mostly concerned Perris residents who wanted to keep the majority of their city intact.

After being presented with three different conceptual plans for trustee areas, those who were present favored the first map which “created the best sense of community.” This plan uses major thoroughfares as boundaries, such as the Interstate 215.

“This plan creates an opportunity to have a very balanced board,” said audience member Brady McCarron, who lives in Perris and is currently running for the Romoland school board.

perris union high school district maps
Residents at the Wednesday night meeting liked this plan the best out of the three presented because it maintained a "sense of community" for each city within the Perris Union High School District.

The current Perris board is made up of five trustees, four who live in Menifee. The way the first plan divides Menifee, Perris, Romoland and Nuevo lessens the possibility of a dominated board.

“We’d like to see someone from Nuevo or Romoland run for election,” said school facilities consultant, Fred Good. “This sort of map kind of force feeds it.”

The district would also like to see more minority representation. Although this map does not create a single Hispanic majority district, it does contain two areas of Hispanic “influence.”

Demographer Peter Morrison pointed this out as a disadvantage of the map, but Perris Board President Eric Kroencke said, “It’s about the function of the plan, not the result.”

The second and third plans were based around the Menifee, Perris, Romoland and Nuveiw feeder districts, but audience members were displeased with the way the boundaries were drawn. Unlike the first map, these plans each created an area of Hispanic majority.

The Perris school district is changing its election system to be in accordance with the California Voting Rights Act, which makes at-large elections illegal if they deliberately weaken the minority vote. Three seats on the Perris Board of Trustees will be up for election in 2012.

Morrison welcomes residents to the remaining meetings that will take place Oct. 5 in Perris, Oct. 24 in Nuevo, and Nov. 9 in Menifee. He is seeking input on communities of interest, plan refinements, map preferences, and more. Contact Linda Quattlebaum at (951) 943-6369, ext. 126 for more information.

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