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Redistricting maps to be considered by supervisors
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Though members of the public suggested changes to two draft redistricting proposals, Stanislaus County staff announced Aug. 2 that the final maps submitted for Board of Supervisors approval will be unchanged from draft maps released July 14.

At a public meeting July 20, residents questioned elements of the redistricting plan, which looks to split the county into five supervisorial districts of equal population. In particular, speakers took issue with the plan to move Modesto's Beard Industrial Tract and Empire to District 5, grouping the area's representation with Ceres and the Westside.

"Moving the Beard park area out to the Westside, it just doesn't make any sense to me," said Modesto Chamber of Commerce CEO Cecil Russell at the meeting. "I just can't get that what goes on in the Beard Tract area relates to anything going on in the whole Westside... I think if I were a supervisor, I would have a very hard time representing the Westside, and then all of the sudden I'm going to know what's best for this particular area."

Supervisor Jim DeMartini has stated he does not like giving up the south Modesto area to pick up Empire and the Beard Industrial Tract in the first option presented.

The two maps, drafted in concert by a citizens' advisory committee and members of county staff, differ in their approach to split the county. But both focus on keeping Municipal Advisory Councils, cities, and school districts intact in one district where possible.

Option one would see South Modesto's 14,000 residents subsumed into District 3 alongside the King-Kennedy area of Modesto, leaving District 5 to pick up all of Ceres and Empire to make up for the loss in population. Option two would, instead, place all of South Modesto in District 5 with most of Ceres, moving part of Ceres to District 4, and leaving part in District 2.

In both options, Turlock, Denair, Hickman and Keyes would remain in District 2 while much or all of Ceres would be removed from the district. In exchange, the proposals would add all land served by the Chatom Union School District.

The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors will have the final say on the redistricting proposals.

The board will first review the maps at a 6:30 p.m. public hearing on Aug. 16 in the basement chambers of 1010 Tenth St., Modesto. At that time the board will receive comment, and may suggest changes be made to the maps.

The board is expected to select a redistricting map on Aug. 23. Final board approval is expected Aug. 30.

For more information on the effort to redistrict Stanislaus County, visit, e-mail, fax 554-6226 or call 525-6333.