City council redistricting came to a close earlier this week after council members adopted a map outlining new boundaries to the four districts.
Existing ordinance requires the city to be divided up into four districts, with one city council member coming from each district, and a mayor being elected at-large.
When the US Census released new population data resulting from the 2010 Federal Census, the city learned it had about 10,000 more residents since the last census figures were published, hence necessitating a reexamination of district boundaries.
Last August, a Redistricting Committee of five residents were appointed by the city council to develop new boundary maps. The month, the committee submitted three maps to the city council for review. Last Tuesday, the council voted to adopt one of the maps.
Joe Daugherty, a member of the redistricting committee, as well as chairman of the incorporation committee that formed Menifee into a city three years ago, drew the winning map. The other two maps, were submitted by Chad Warren, a resident of Menifee Lakes, and Ann Pica, a resident of Sun City.
Daugherty's map won votes from council members Darcy Kuenzi, Sue Kristjansson, and John Denver. Council member Tom Furhman and Wallace Edgerton each voted for the other two maps.
|Joe Daugherty's district map, was voted in by the city council.|
|Chad Warren's map, got one vote from Mayor Wallace Edgerton|
|Ann Pica's map, got one vote from Tom Fuhrman|
Much of the discussion over the three maps seemed to hinge on three factors, that the districts best capture the unique communities of Menifee, the senior community of Sun City, the rural areas of Menifee, the suburban family communities, and the redevelopment areas of Menifee and Romoland. Other factors included keeping district lines drawn cleanly and noting landmarks such as mountains, salt creek, and the 215 freeway.
Several members of the public spoke out against maps drawn by Warren and Pica stating that they actually disrespect the historical community of Sun City (District 1), that it actually divides it into two. "Sun City historically went all the way out towards the hills to the west" said Ron Sullivan, a board of director with the Eastern Municipal Water District, citing his disapproval of maps by Warren and Pica.his support for Daugherty's map.
Warren's map was also a concern for others who stated it separated the Menifee Country Club area from Menifee Lakes, by drawing a boundary down Newport Rd.
Daugherty's map puts each of the four existing council members, excluding Mayor Edgerton, into their own unique district, with Kristjansson in District 1, Furhman in District in 2, Kuenzi in District 3, and Denver in District 4.
Edgerton, who resides in District 2, will be up for reelection in 2012 but cannot run in that District because its currently held by Fuhrman until 2014. Edgerton, can still run for mayor however, or can run for council by moving to another district.
At one point, Fuhrman asked council members to vote for maps based on a ranking system similar to how they voted to appoint Fred Twyman's replacement on the council, as a way to keep voting anonymous amongst the council members. "It worked very well when we elected a new council person", Furhman explained.
But other council members tended to shy away from the process that Furhman suggested. When the council used that system to appoint a new council member, it required a lot of debate on how to devise a tie-breaking system.
"Why don't we go through all of them (the three maps) and ask for votes on each one", the Edgerton countered.
"I tend to think that if we do that, everybody is going to have their cards on the table one at a time rather than playing their hand all at once.", Fuhrman answered, referring to the concern that when one council member revealed their vote, it would influence the way remaining council members might vote. "I think there's going to be a controversy doing it that way", Furhman continued.
But when none of the other council members seconded Furhman's idea, the council opted to ask each member to state their favorite map. Kuenzi started first by voting for Daugherty's map. Furhman followed by voting for Ann Pica's map. Denver voted next for Daugherty's map, and Kristjansson followed also with Daugherty's map.
At that point, with Daugherty's map getting a three vote majority, grumblings across the audience broke out followed by several attendees who got up and left the meeting, without even waiting to hear how Edgerton would vote.
Edgerton, who acknowledged that at this point his vote didn't matter, cast a vote for Chad Warren's map.