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Supervisorial districts to change
The entire city of Ceres would be included in a single supervisorial district under a proposed redistricting plan that moves lines based on the 2010 U.S. Census.

Ceres is now mostly included in District 5, now represented by Jim DeMartini. The lone exception is that Eastgate, one of the last residential additions to Ceres, falls within Vito Chiesa's District 2. Under the first of the two options for new districts, Eastgate would become a part of District 5.

County officials last Thursday debuted the two maps that are being placed before public review before forwarding them to supervisors for a selection. The maps are posted on the Stanislaus County website at and may be downloaded for review.

A public meeting on the proposed districts will take place between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. today at the Martin Peterson Event Center, 720 12th Street, downtown Modesto.

Only two options are being presented to the public. Two other maps were rejected for various reasons.

The group had to consider drawing districts that respected whole school districts, city boundaries, city spheres of influence and the boundaries of municipal advisory councils (MACs).

"These maps really respect communities of interest," said Richard Robinson, Stanislaus County's Chief Executive Officer.

The task started with taking the county's new population figure of 514,450, dividing it by five districts and strategically carving districts to come as close to 102,890 residents while considering common interests. Most of the districts are close to the 102,890 figure.

Most of the five districts change little with the exception of District 4 in Modesto and District 5. In option #1, all of Ceres is included in District 5, which also jumps north of the Tuolumne River to take in the Beard Industrial Tract and the community of Empire.

Also in option #1, for the first time, District 3 jumps the river and takes in the Riverdale tract and sections of South Modesto. District 3 is proposed to keep all of the South Modesto MAC together and lumps south Modesto in with the King-Kennedy Center of west central Modesto.

Option 2 does not keep Ceres whole. While it would add Eastgate to District 5 while taking the area north of Hatch Road and east of Central Avenue out of District 4 and placed within District 4.

Robinson said the new districts do not dissolve the power of ethnic minorities. None of the new districts, however, were able to be drawn for a "majority minority" district since a 65 percent majority Latino threshold could not be met. Robinson explained that 65 percent voting age Latino population is the benchmark since a certain segment would be ineligible vote for reasons that include illegal citizenship.

"We were unable to do that so the next criteria is to then do no harm, to maintain reasonable ethnic distribution as they were before," said Robinson.

Sharon Silva, chairperson of the Stanislaus County Ad Hoc Citizen Redistricting Advisory Committee, said the process of redistricting has been lengthy and complicated.

"At first the process was foreign to us," said Silva.

After today's public comments the draft maps are reviewed, the final maps will be made public in early August and then considered by the Board of Supervisors at their August 16 board meeting during a 6:30 p.m. public hearing. For more information or to submit comment, please go to, email to, fax to 544-6226 or call 525-6333.