The Turlock Irrigation District is asking the community to weigh in on three different maps recently released as part of the second step in the redistricting process.
TID’s Board of Directors is an elected body, with all five members representing separate districts within the agency’s service area which represent equal populations. Along with all other jurisdictions with electoral divisions, the Board must undergo a redistricting process every 10 years as new census data is released to ensure all districts continue to have equal populations and are in compliance with state and federal law.
The TID Board’s redistricting process began with a kickoff meeting on Sept. 28, and during a special evening meeting on Wednesday the first draft maps were released. Redistricting consultant Jane Hood presented the new maps to the Board, noting that current boundaries left as is would result in Divisions 1 and 5 being the furthest away from the ideal population by 4.47% and -5.85%, respectively.
Straight lines and equal populations were the main goal when drawing up the draft maps, Hood said, with the ideal population of each district being just over 41,000 people.
“With that in mind, we did create three options for you tonight to review,” Hood said. “...You'll have a look at them, and you can make changes to them if you'd like.”
All three map options see the districts deviate no more than 1% from each other in population, and each map sees the southern-most portions of Districts 1 and 4 taken over by District 5. Districts 1 and 5 are the same size in each map, and District 4 undergoes the most change in each; in Options A and B, the western boundary of the district is shifted to the east while the northern boundary is moved up higher.
The maps are simply starting points, Hood emphasized, and public feedback will allow more definitive action to be taken by the Board at the next redistricting meeting on Dec. 7. The Board will vote to adopt a final map on Jan. 25.
Division 3 Director Joe Alamo said he was impressed by the three maps, and is curious about what the public has to say before making any changes. Division 2 Director Charles Fernandes complimented the districts’ tidy borders.
“I like the fact that they're, for the most part, straight lines and that there's no jagged areas that are being called into one division or the other,” Fernandes said. “I think all three of them, as far as I'm concerned, seem reasonable.”
The three draft map options can be viewed at www.tid.org/about-tid/board-of-directors/redistricting. Those who would like to provide feedback online can click “Online Forum” on this page. To submit written comments via mail, address input letters to 333 E. Canal Drive, Turlock, CA 95380 or P.O. Box 949 Turlock, CA 95381. Oral input can also be submitted by calling 209-883-8361 and emailed input can be sent to email@example.com.