|ITEM-1:||CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Pesqueira called the meeting to order at 6:06 p.m. Chairman Pesqueira adjourned the meeting at 7:50 p.m. to the next regularly scheduled meeting at 4:00 p.m. May 23, 2001, in the City Administration Building, 12th floor Council Chambers.
Operations Director Staajabu Heshimu called the roll:
(C) Chairman Ralph R. Pesqueira-present
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: A004-010.)
ATTENDANCE DURING THE MEETING:
(C) Chairman Ralph R. Pesqueira-present
(VC) Vice Chairman Leland T. Saito-present
(M) Mateo R. Camarillo-not present
(M) Charles W. Johnson-present
(M) Marichu G. Magaña -present
(M) Shirley ODell-present
(M) Juan Antonio Ulloa-present
(EO) Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster-present
Welcome and Introductions/Chairman Ralph Pesqueira
Chairman Pesqueira welcomed everyone and announced that this will be the last meeting in the various Districts. This Commission chose to go out and listen to the ideas of each Council District, and to get a flavor for what people see as their concerns in their particular District. Chairman Pesqueira noted that as you know, District 5 stands to lose the most. There are about 35,000 people to move into another District. Chairman Pesqueira referred to the green handout stating there are about seven census tracts that may have to come out of District five.
Chairman Pesqueira noted that there were several requests to give presentations from organized groups, and that he would go with those toward the later part of the meeting. The Chairman asked that everyone limit their time to three minutes and that he would call more than one name at a time to come up and take a seat to make sure things move as quickly as possible. Chairman Pesqueira expressed it was important for the Commission to go to each District so that the public could see them. The Chairman noted that this is the first time there is a Commission such as this in San Diego and that the City Attorney's Office will explain that in more detail.
During Roll Call the Chairman asked that each Member tell who they are, and where they are from.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location: A010-028.)
Chairman Ralph Pesqueira: I have been here since 1940 and have a family business in downtown San Diego. I have served in various capacities for the City of San Diego and I sat on the Planning Commission for eight years, and was heavily involved in the development of this area. I like the way San Diego is laid out, and I understand many of the problems each District has -- we will do everything we can to try and not aggravate those problems, to make it so that everybody will get hopefully 85 to 95 percent of what they want.
Vice Chairman Leland Saito: Hello and welcome tonight. I live in District 6, and I am a Professor at the University of California in San Diego. My research focuses on politics and redistricting, but most of my research has focused on politics in New York City, and Los Angeles, so I am very happy to be involved in something here in San Diego. When I speak about redistricting, my colleagues say that people's eyes glaze over. We are very eager to hear what you have to say tonight, and thank you for coming.
Member Charles Johnson: My name is Charles Johnson. I am a retired Navy Warrant Officer. The Navy brought me to San Diego in about 1965. I grew up in Texas and there is no comparison with the weather, so I decided to stay here. So here I am - thank you.
Member Marichu G. Magaña: My name is Marichu Magana, and I lived in Mira Mesa when there were no high schools here and I was bused to Kearny High just to go to school. I graduated from Mira Mesa High; I attended college here as UCSD; I went to San Diego State. I also got my doctorate right here down the road at USIU. I am very concerned about District 5; it is such a large District, but I know that the benefits of staying together are the I-15. I am currently a Professor and Counselor at San Diego Mesa College.
Member Shirley ODell: Good evening friends. I happen to live in District 5. My name is Shirley ODell and I came to San Diego in 1942. I served as a Social Worker for the County of San Diego; my territory was Escondido. I knew a lot about Rancho Bernardo and all territory in between which were a lot of rocks. However, I became so attracted to the area that I made up my mind at that time that once retired; this is where I would want to be. I have had experience in education also. I have taught at Sacramento State, UCLA, and Pepperdine in economics as well as communications and management. I have also been in business and have had my own member firm of the New York Stock Exchange in 1954 -- and talking about having your eyes glass over - talking about the Stock Market at that time - that's what everybody did. It's been an absolute joy being able to take part in this new adventure of redistricting which is new in California. We did it so badly in the past, and to take the politics out of it is why I wanted to be involved. I'm so proud of all of you -- you are wonderful -- and thank you for coming
Member Juan Ulloa: My name is Juan Ulloa. I live in District 8. I'm a High School Teacher in Chula Vista, and I'm Chairman of the Southeast Planning Group.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location: A028-091.)
Chairman Pesqueira wished to introduce Lisa Foster to explain why they exist, what they are going through right now, and what the law (both Federal and City) says about redistricting, so that everyone has an understanding of what the Commission needs to do. Chairman Pesqueira noted that Joey Perry was at a school being trained on the software that is designed to move census tracts around, and to try and equalize the various Districts. Chairman Pesqueira announced that this Commission does not have an opinion right now about what they want to do, or will be able to do. There will be no opinion until the Commission gets the last and final figures. The reason for not working on the individual census tract figures is that there are a couple of dozen census tracts that are split, and it is difficult to know how many are in the City, and how many are in the County, or how many might be in District 1 or in District 5 because the way the split is. The Commission will have to come up with an idea in which the Commission can determine how many in a given census tract really live in one District versus the other District, or don't even live in the City. Once that is complete, they will be able to start moving census tracts. The Chairman expressed the Commission has received multiple suggestions from scraping the whole thing and starting over, to coming up with wagon wheels with radials that move in and out of the City, so that everybody has at least a square block in downtown San Diego. Chairman Pesqueira stated speaking for the Commission, they want to keep the Districts as compact as they have been, and maintain that as best they can even though they will be moving census tracts in and out.
The Redistricting Task/Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster
Lisa Foster: Good evening. I'm Lisa Foster from the City Attorney's Office, and we'd like to start the evening out hearing a little bit about the rules we have to follow --- that might help regarding putting in feedback and what we can and cannot do. This is really a first in San Diego to have an independent Redistricting Commission. If you have been around for a while you might remember that ten years ago was the last time the lines were drawn and the decisions were made by elected officials - the City Council. After that last redistricting effort, the citizens did vote to change the Charter of the City and take the decisions making power away from the elected officials, putting it into hands of an independent Commission. That effort was successful and the Charter was changed, so this is the first time that this new Commission is undertaking the redistricting.
The rules this Commission has to follow - we do want to start out by saying that they are completely independent. Their decision will not be subject to approval by the elected officials, but only subject to a referendum. You as the citizens - if you are unhappy with the result, and if the referendum was successful to challenge the redistricting plan that this Commission makes -- this same Commission would be the body to go back and redraw the lines.
As I mentioned before, this is the City of San Diego Year 2000 Redistricting Commission, and they have the sole and exclusive responsibility to draw the Council boundaries this year.
There are a number of requirements for redistricting, but the primary and foremost requirement of redistricting and the reason we do it is to equalize the number of people to the extent possible between the Council Districts. This is a concept that comes from the U. S. Constitution and because it is a constitutional principal, it is the most important principal that we have to follow, and it does take precedence over other factors such as the things we have in our City Charter. The Federal Voting Rights Act also has to be taken into consideration by this Commission. The Federal Voting Rights Act essentially requires that the redistricting plan cannot do anything to reduce the voting strength of certain protected ethnic and racial groups. In San Diego the groups we need to be concerned with are African-Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans. These groups are protected under the Voting Rights Act. What that means is that if there are groups that have voting strengths in their Districts, and this Redistricting Plan were to divide that District in a way to reduce that strength - to take a cohesive group and divide it into different Districts for instance; that could be a violation of Federal Law.
Following those U. S. Constitution and Federal Law Principals, we have what I would call our lowly City Charter, and that is the third level of consideration for the Commission. Some of the things that the City Charter says are as follows:
.The Districts must be eight in number. This Commission does not have the discretion to change the number of Districts, and it will not change unless there is a vote of the people to change that; this year it will be 8 Districts.
.The Districts should be composed of whole census units to the extent possible. They should not be drawn for the purpose of advantaging or protecting incumbents. Again, this is part of the City Charter -- this was something people wanted in the Charter during that 1992 Charter change.
.The Districts should protect "Communities of Interest." This is one of the main reasons we are here, to hear your input tonight. The "Communities of Interest" concept - this is something the Commission really needs to find out from you - the people that live in the District. What are your "Communities of Interest?" What are your areas that would suffer if they were divided - that have things in common -- that really should be in the same District.
.The Districts are supposed to be composed of contiguous territory which means it is supposed to be a single unit of territory - not divided into separate parts. They are to be geographically compact to extent possible, and if possible to be bounded by natural lines such as highways and streets, canyons, existing features.
.As far as the process for this Redistricting plan -- the Charter requires at least four public hearings to be held out in the community before maps have been drawn. This Commission has decided to actually hold eight. After we finish the meetings this week, the Commission will be going back to having their regular meetings downtown. They will be working on a preliminary plan, and that plan must be filed with the City Clerk's Office with a written statement of findings and reason for the plan. After that plan is filed with the Clerk's Office, at least 30 days must elapse before it becomes finalized, and during that time the Charter does require the Commission to go back out in the community and hear from you again. There needs to be at least three additional public hearings. Right now I don't think there has been a decision on how many we are going to have. The final plan does become final 30 days after adoption, subject only to challenge by referendum. You also have in your packet a projection of what our time line is to finish the process. On the last page you should have contact information for the Commission. We have a web site that is updated regularly; you have a phone number for contacting the Commission, and we certainly encourage your input.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location: A091-210.)
Area Maps and Data/Director Staajabu Heshimu
Staa Heshimu: I'm the Operations Director for the Redistricting Commission. A lot of you already have that e-mail address because I feel that I know you already. I can tell by the size of the crowd this evening, and by the map displays, that you know most of what I have to say. So, I am going to tell you really quickly, in this District I don't think it's going to be an awful lot of fun anyway. I joked the other day with Lance about just amputating the lower half of your District and he did not laugh - he did not think it was funny a bit.
This is a map of the City broken down into eight Council Districts - and each Council District is a different color. After the census each decade, and after the redistricting process - this map always looks different. So, this is just how it looked after the last redistricting effort in 1990-91. As the Chairman has already told you, and you have these numbers on your green sheet - we already have the preliminary numbers for where the growth has been. Actually, there has been growth all over the City, but some areas just grew faster than others. So, it is our job as the Commission to balance the population, to equalize the population in the voting Districts. Here in District 5 - the lavender -- your growth has out paced the rest of City. You have way too many people in your District. On way to think about this is that right now for the people who live in District 5, your vote is worth less than mine. But, the decisions are hard. There is not much we can do with this northern portion because of the requirements for contiguous geographical continuity. Rancho Bernardo and San Pasqual have to stay hooked together because all of this out here is not City land; it's County. After that there are a lot of choices that can be made. The Chairman probably told you that you might lose seven or so census tracts. We could start down here in the southern tip and just start cutting until we have the correct number of people. But, we are here to ask you how do you feel about losing Mira Mesa if it comes to that? How do you feel about losing Scripps Ranch if it comes to that? There are a lot of other things you could do -- you could go pick up some geography over here in Black Mountain Ranch and the Rancho Penasquitos area. We need to know what you think before we begin to draw the new lines.
We ask you to do that not because you know the right numbers, but because you know your communities of interest. There are a couple of ways to help you think about that. One is the community planning area, so that you have several community planning areas in District 5 already. We can draw lines around those community planning areas. You have another map on your Chair -- this is the northern section of the District -- we cut San Pasqual because that is not up for discussion. This is the southern half down here where the District ends in Linda Vista. The blue lines are the police neighborhood areas. The blue lines indicate areas that the communities actually helped the police identify so those are also considered "communities of interest." You may have other ideas, and that is what we are here to find out.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location: A211-289.)
Chairman Ralph Pesqueira asked Council Member Maienschein to say a few words.
Council Member Maienschein: I wish to thank everybody for coming out. I don't know why I should be amazed about anything that District 5 does anymore. However, I must still be new enough that I occasionally do. This is a fantastic Redistricting Commission. If you have read their biographies and the kind of experience they bring, it is very impressive. It is the best of what San Diego has. We are very fortunate to have these people drawing the lines. You are also very fortunate in that - you know - you get to see District 5 slide shows. I don't want to brag too much -- but I venture to guess we have the best slide shows. I'm not going to take too long - I'll speak at the very end and maybe throw out -- kind of based on all my conversations with all of you and how I think the District should look. We have a lot of people we're going to have to cut - I wish we didn't have to cut a single one out, especially after walking the District twice. With that, I know we want to get to everyone's testimony tonight. This is our night -- a big night for our District - because this is what it will look like for the next ten years. I look forward to hearing what everybody has to say.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: A290-319.)
PC-1: Comment by Jeff Stevens representing the Mira Mesa Town Council and regarding splitting Mira Mesa. Mr. Stevens stated that Mira Mesa has 72,000 residents, almost half of the Council District in one community. Mr. Stevens wished to make two points. First, splitting Mira Mesa would make a potentially dangerous situation where politicians compete for resources in their part of the community at the expense of the other. Mr. Stevens asked that the Commission keep Mira Mesa together, and the entire area in tact in one Council District. Secondly, Mr. Stevens stated that they had three Council Members during the last year. Ten years ago because of the redistricting process, they had four Council Members in a very short time. Mr. Stevens stated this is extremely disruptive and creates all sorts of problems in the community. Mr. Stevens stated the current Council Member, Mr. Maienschein, is doing a fine job, and they would appreciate keeping him and having continuity in their city representation.
PC-2: Comment by Thomas Martin regarding Lisa Foster speaking to redistricting, and the effects it would have on neighborhoods. Mr. Martin noted he cannot walk the neighborhood and talk to people now about the elections - up coming elections - because there are no politics of the neighborhood. It is politics of District 5 and of District 6. Mr. Martin stated that Council Member Maienschein has been an instrumental force just by being present in the District, and that he has been good about coming to meetings. Mr. Martin expressed that they were told that many, many years ago their District was considered a donkey's tail, and was referred to as such for many years. Mr. Martin proposed to the Commission that they redraw the lines moving up, and removing District 5 from about the 52 boundary. Mr. Martin also suggested moving Pacific Beach back into District 2, and allowing Clairemont to reunify becoming both an east and west community where they could partake in the politics of the community, and discuss the issues that involve their area. Mr. Martin wished to thank Council Member Maienschein and the Commission for their time and efforts to date.
PC-3: Comment by Pam Montanile stating she was a member of the Mira Mar Ranch Planning Group. Ms. Montanile stated this was tough because it sounds like everyone is in love with Brian - he is doing a wonderful job in District 5, and has been working on a number of jobs with their Planning Group. Ms. Montanile noted that someone had said "I-15 - traffic, traffic, traffic," and that these were the important issues. Ms. Montanile stated they did not have the same issues with Route 52, but that they were interested in Route 56. Ms. Montanile wished to point out they saw themselves as sister cities with Carmel Mountain and Sabre Springs, and the community newspapers did too.
PC-4: Comment by Alexander Segal wanting to support the speakers and stating that there are many traffic problems along I-15, and problems with noise as well, e.g., helicopters along the corridor. Mr. Segal stated it was important to stay together and work together regarding these problems.
PC-5: Comment by Jim Paterniti wishing to make two key points regarding redistricting. The first point is that the Scripps Ranch community is a high affinity community, and that it needs to be considered as a single District. The second point Mr. Paterniti wished to make was that the Scripps Ranch Community really belongs in Council District 5. Mr. Paterniti wished to note that Scripps Ranch has an incredibly strong community group, and the schools were all focal points for the community.
PC-6: Comment by Steve Otto regarding District 8, and that he works in San Ysidro as the Executive Director of the San Ysidro Business Improvement District. Mr. Otto requested the Commission maintain the current District 8 City Council boundaries in so far as they affect District 2 boundaries. Mr. Otto suggested that area is so isolated from the City that there needs to be two voices on the City Council.
PC-7: Comment by Mitchell Berner regarding being a resident of District 5 for the last 13 years ,and had the luxury of working professionally in District 5 for former Council Member Warden, and former Mayor and County Supervisor Susan Golding. Mr. Berner stated he wished to add a professional insight, and that he didn't think people downtown really understood the nuances of how the "Communities of Interests" work there. Mr. Berner gave an example that the San Diego Union Tribune actually considered north of Mercy Road to be the North County edition. Mr. Berner expressed that he lives in the City of San Diego, in Rancho Bernardo and Carmel Mountain Ranch, and that he doesn't consider himself as part of North County. Mr. Berner wished to share that because it is a dividing line for some, it is artificial, as well as dividing the community inappropriately. Mr. Berner stated as he walked District 5 north of Mercy Road, people think they live in the City of Poway because they get the Corridor News/Poway News. They are disoriented from what happens downtown, and that in itself becomes a "Community of Interest." Also, they send their children to Poway Unified School District, and that boundary is Mercy Road. Mr. Berner asked that the Commission please maintain as much as possible the communities of Sabre Springs, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Rancho Bernardo, and San Pasqual Valley. Mr. Berner stated he would love to have Rancho Penasquitos back in District 5, but that could be numerically impossible. Mr. Berner referred to the southern half of District 5 stating that Linda Vista had the misfortune of being carved up ten years ago. Mr. Berner asked that the Commission keep together the communities of interest -- Linda Vista, Serra Mesa, Kearney Mesa, Clairemont Mesa -- together and cohesive. Mr. Berner also expressed they are struggling with Miramar, and that the Commission will need to face the challenge of preserving the integrity of western Mira Mesa. Lastly, Mr. Berner requested the Commission keep Mira Mesa intact and contiguous with District 5.
PC-8: Comment by Dick Flanagan stating that probably their biggest concern is to divide the community. Mr. Flanagan noted that they have three communities that are currently divided, and that Linda Vista is the biggest one. Mr. Flanagan expressed he doesn't think that is healthy. Mr. Flanagan stated there was much talk today regarding similarities, and that he believed diversity is not necessarily bad, and would rather have a Council Member that has a diverse Council District.
PC-9: Comment by Dr. Peter Frank stating he resides with his wife in Scripps Ranch and would like to speak briefly regarding maintaining Scripps Ranch in District 5. Mr. Frank stated that Scripps Ranch is not 188.565 digits -- but it is people who work together, and give their time and talent to make it a better community.
PC-10: Comment by Adrian Kwiatkowsky regarding noticing that at this redistricting meeting there were cookies and water. Mr. Kwiatkowsky stated when you feed people they are a lot happier. Mr. Kwiatkowsky stated he is President of the Rancho Penasquitos Town Council, and they feel that dividing communities was unacceptable, and something they didn't want to happen to their community. Mr. Kwiatkowsky stated that the I-15 corridor is a "Community of Interest" because of the traffic, because of the freeway system, helicopters, and other things. Mr. Kwiatkowsky expressed that Rancho Penesquestos has been left out of the I-15 corridor community; the only community not attached to the other communities along the I-15 corridor.
PC-11: Comment by Art Thompson stating to the Commission that, as it should be, their attention is focused on District 5, and that he is an intruder from District 3. Mr. Thompson stated he turned in a Resolution to the Commission, and invited them to review that at their leisure. Mr. Thompson stated he was in favor of maintaining communities of interest for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in San Diego, primarily in District 3.
Chairman Pesqueira introduced the first Power Point Presentation with Pamela Coates, Ph.D., speaking for the group.
PC-12: Comment by Pamela Coates stating she was representing the Mira Mesa Town Council, and that Mira Mesa extends from the 805 on the West, to 15 on the East, from the Miramar Air Station on the South, to Penasquitos Canyon on the North. Ms. Coates stated that constitutes 72 thousand inhabitants, and is a large number of people to work with. Ms. Coates noted that at the last general meeting of the Mira Mesa Town Council they had a long discussion regarding their priorities and concerns for redistricting, and came to the conclusion that their first priority was to remain in a single Council District. Ms. Coates stated that Mira Mesa has a single community plan and that as the Commission knows, City Policy 600-24 established the planning communities to serve as the fundamental building block to think of decision making, and priority setting for land use planning. Mira Mesa is a single community, and they set goals as a whole community. Ms. Coates expressed through communication with Council Member Maienschein they have a single voice to give to the City Council; that is critical. Ms. Coates asked whether the Commission had read recently in the paper about their park, and used that as an example stating that Mira Mesa is good at solving problems. They came together and came up with a "win-win" situation. Ms. Coates also stated that because there was a single Council Member representing Mira Mesa, they were able to come up with a solution for a ball field that is not adjacent to houses. Ms. Coates asked that the Commission protect that, and keep a single Council Representative.
Ms. Coates used her slide presentation to give examples how Mira Mesa pools their money to fund projects. Lastly, Ms. Coates asked that Mira Mesa remain in District 5, and wished to point out what important contribution's Mira Mesa brings to District 5: Racial and ethnic diversity; link between the I-15 corridor and 805; and a major employment center; 62,000 San Diegans Ms. Coates stated for the Commission to please respect and protect their community by keeping it in a single Council District.
Chairman Pesqueira: Stated for the record that Pam Coates was speaking for the following people:
Sarah Young; John Malo; Robin Stutsman; Karen Burger; Joe Frictel; Keith Flitner; Bruce Brown; and Hal Goldberg.
Chairman Pesqueira introduced the second presentation given by Bob Dingeman.
PC-13: Bob Dingeman introduced his group as follows: Marc Sorensen; Lynn Park; Bob Ilko; Peggy Shirey; Claudia Unhold; Gordon Boerner; and Gary Pryor.
Mr. Dingeman stated on behalf of the community he wished to thank everyone for coming, and pointed out that there were 106 people in attendance, and that the Commission has had meetings where there were but seven people in attendance, thereby showing their interest in what is going on. Mr. Dingeman stated that Scripps Ranch is a single entity, and they are famous for their strong ties of concentrated geographic areas; commitment to fine schools; excellent recreation; and most importantly a quality of life that is very unique and special. Mr. Dingeman further stated that this was a family atmosphere, and that they also enjoy the finest monthly newsletter sent to 14,000 people, which they are very proud of. Mr. Dingeman expressed that Scripps Ranch now enjoys the confidence; the full support; the cooperation; the knowledge of their community by Council Member Maeinschein and his staff, and look forward to continuing to work with him in the future.
Mr. Dingeman introduced an organized presentation by each presenter of the group to give their review of their area of community involvement as follows:
PC-14: Comment by Mark Sorensen regarding District 5 needing to lose population. Mr. Sorensen stated they were here to tell the Commission that it would not be from Scripps Ranch. Mr. Sorensen expressed Scripps Ranch is a single unified community, and the last time someone tried to split them in two; "you know what happened to her." Mr. Sorensen also stated Scripps Ranch was one community sharing one library; one set of schools; one set of parks; and one set of leagues for all their kids. Lastly, Mr. Sorensen stated Scripps Ranch had nothing in common with District 7, and to include Scripps Ranch would actually isolate them from the only place they have representation.
PC-15: Comment by Lynn Park regarding being the Chairman of the School's Committee in Scripps Ranch. Ms. Park stated this Committee is representative of all four elementary schools; the middle school; the high school; as well as the two planning groups; Recreation Council; and SRCA. All students move from the elementary schools to one middle school, and one high school, and are focal points in the community. Ms. Park stated that it is very important that any redistricting keep the entire community of Scripps Ranch together - all of the 92131 zip code. Lastly, Ms. Park stated that Council Member Maienschein has been working with them for many months as a liaison with various City Departments, and the School District, as they find a solution for a location for the new middle school in Scripps Ranch.
PC-16: Comment by Bob Ilko regarding his unique position of providing institutional memory for the community. Mr. Ilko stated that they really started off as a "one family ranch" that has developed into the community they have now, and they have shared common interests since day one with communities to the north, and perhaps the east. Mr. Ilko stated that if you look at the Scripps Ranch map you will see that they are the anchors of District 5. Mr. Ilko noted that their culture, politics, and sense of who they are have always been the I-15 north communities of Sabre Springs, Rancho Bernardo, and Carmel Mountain.
PC-17: Comment by Peggy Shirey stating that they were all here because District 5 needs to lose 36,000 people, and that unfortunately Scripps Ranch has about 30,000 people. Ms. Shirey expressed that their concern is that it would be so easy to just move the whole thing. Ms. Shirey also stated that the only place Scripps Ranch could go is to District 7, which doesn't mean it's a good idea. Ms. Shirey noted that Scripps Ranch will be meeting with Mira Mesa on June 5th for the City's Strategic Framework Workshop. Ms. Shirey stated they were going to meet about making San Diego a City of villages, and Scripps Ranch is part of the I-15 village. Ms. Shirey also stated that the only roadway Scripps Ranch share in common with any of the District 7 communities is the I-15, and when there is traffic on I-15, it might take as long as twenty to thirty minutes to get to the closest District 7 community. To be geographically compact as shown on the map, Scripps Ranch would be an island removed and consequentially disenfranchised from District 7. Lastly, Ms. Shirey stated that to be bounded by natural boundaries - they currently have a natural boundary between District 5 and 7 which is the Marine Base.
PC-18: Comment by Claudia Unhold regarding being a member of the Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee for more than 8 years, and that she is also the Chairman of the New Project Sub-Committee. Ms. Unhold stated that from a planning perspective they have a maraud of commonalities with their north I-15 corridor neighbors; they share the North Ridge Business Park which is partly in the Miramar Ranch North planning area, and partly in the Sabre Springs planning area; but there is one access that is off Scripps Poway Parkway in their community. Ms. Unhold stated they have the common I-15 corridor traffic issues with both Sabre Springs and Miramar Ranch North. Ms. Unhold also stated they need continued participation from Council Member Maienschein regarding their regional traffic issues, as well as his attention to the Scripps Gateway Project.
PC-19: Comment by Gordon Boerner stating he is the Vice Chairman of the Scripps Ranch Planning Group, and Vice President of the Scripps Ranch Civic Association. Mr. Boerner stated that the Commission has heard very clearly that Linda Vista has asked for reunification; that Pacific Beach has asked for reunification; Kearney Mesa has asked to be aligned with its contiguous communities; Mira Mesa has asked to stay together; Rancho Penasquitos has asked to stay together; Rancho Bernardo is about to ask for the same thing. Mr. Boerner also stated that the Commission has heard a resounding mandate to keep the 92131 zip code, Scripps Ranch, which incorporates both the Miramar Ranch North and Scripps Ranch within District 5, within the able hands of Council Member Maienschein. Mr. Boerner expressed that they have respectively submitted maps, as well as spread sheets that have been handed out, and that they wish for the Commission to consider a mathematical equation that gives the Commission all the "win-wins" they have asked for, and keeps Scripps Ranch in District 5.
PC-20: Comment by Gary Pryor regarding the difficult task the Commission has, and that he has gone through that in 1970, 1980, and 1990. Mr. Pryor stated that Scripps Ranch is offering the Commission a solution that will numerically work, and that will meet all of the criteria. Mr. Pryor said, "we will leave the maps because all the Commission needs to do is to take the southern half of 5 from the Marine Base south, add it into 6, and then reunify the other District that has asked to be redistricted -- we're offering you the solution and all you have to do is keep us intact - in District 5."
Bob Dingeman stated that he believed his group had been articulate, and that they have expressed their opinions.
Chairman Ralph Pesqueira introduced the last group presentation. Speaker Karen Heumann representing Rebecca Cole, Joyce Tavron, and Robin Kaufman.
PC-21: Comment by Karen Heumann stating that she appreciated the Commission adjusting their time to have her presentation, and that it was her first power point presentation. Ms. Heumann stated that she was the Chairman of the Rancho Bernardo Community Planning Board, and her presentation would be in regards to keeping Rancho Bernardo in the 5th District. Ms. Heumann expressed that Rancho Bernardo was the anchor of District 5, a north inland community at the north end of the I-15 corridor. Ms. Heumann stated that if you wanted to get to Rancho Bernardo from downtown, the most direct route is the I-15 corridor, and an important factor of wanting to remain in District 5. Council Member Maienschein is committed to reducing traffic congestion on I-15, as well as understanding the transportation burdens created by the deferred infrastructure of the growing population. According to SANDAG, San Diego has more than 37 billion dollars in needed transportation infrastructure alone. Ms. Heumann also stated that if you think
I-15 is bad, try going west, and that Council Member Maienschein is committed to completing Route 56. By completing Route 56 and providing alternate routes to the west, the north inland region will gain access to the corporate area as well as relieve congestion in the north inland communities, and the overburdened I-15. Ms. Neumann noted that the community of Rancho Bernardo is situated just south of Lake Hodges and the San Pasqual Valley which is an agricultural and open space preserve with few residents. To many Rancho Bernardo residents the lake and the valley is the view, and a reminder of the precious remaining open space in San Diego. Ms. Neumann stated they requested that the Valley remain in the District with Rancho Bernardo, as Rancho Bernardo has an independent interest in keeping the valley as pristine and protected as possible. Ms. Neumann wished to recognize Council Member Maienschein as an advocate for children, and that he participated in Poway Unified School District Safety and Wellness Committee; the San Diego County Bar Association's Children at Risk Committee; Executive Director of Youth Corp. where he received the 1999 District Attorney's Crime Victim's Rights Award; he is a member of the Scripps Ranch Children's Auxiliary; and his wife is a Special Ed teacher at Rancho Bernardo High School. Lastly, Ms. Neumann stated that Rancho Bernardo supports Council Member Maienschein, and he supports them. The anchor community of Rancho Bernardo on the I-15 corridor wishes to remain in District 5. Ms. Heumann asked that the community leaders in Rancho Bernardo stand and be recognized.
PC-22: Comment by Phil Blair stating he has lived in Scripps Ranch for ten years, and was appointed to finish Barbara Warden's seat. Mr. Blair expressed that he didn't envy the Commission's duties; they had tough decisions to make. Mr. Blair wished to note how important the I-15 corridor was; that it really is a spine through the District, both positive and negative. It connects the communities, yet is a major traffic issue that needs community support. Mr. Blair expressed that they saw in Linda Vista what happens when you divide a community; the service they got being in two Districts is not nearly as supportive as being in one. Regarding District 7, the closest neighborhood house is three almost four miles apart; that is not a contiguous neighborhood. Mr. Blair referred to the point about sharing restaurants, schools, and recreation that is very important to District 5, and that there is a solution in reuniting Linda Vista and Kearny Mesa -- taking that out of District 5. Mr. Blair stated that the communities you are hearing today really feels a kinship on issues together in District 5. Mr. Blair strongly encouraged that the Commission keep the neighborhoods and villages together.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: A320-C040.)
Chairman Pesqueira wished to thank everyone, and stated that the presentations were well organized. Chairman Pesqueira expressed it was very encouraging to see the interest and desire everyone has for their community.
Council Member Maienschein wished to thank everyone for coming out, that they did put on a good show, and that the Commission is well aware of how important this is. Council Member Maienschein stated that he did grow up here; went from elementary school through high school, and is certainly a product not just of the local schools, but sports and the community as well. Council Member Maienschein expressed that if anybody had a perspective of what the people in the District wanted -- they did walk the District -- they did walk it twice, and that it is fantastic. Council Member Maienschein stated that he wished there was a way not to lose a single voter, but he does realize they are going to have to lose some 35,000 people. Council Member Maienschein stated that if there is a single issue that unites them; it is traffic. Council Member Maienscein also expressed that they need to stay together to work on traffic solutions, and that it is the most important issue.
Council Member Maienschein stated he would go ahead and express how he feels the District should be divided based on his tenure as a City Council Member, with his relationships with all the people here tonight, and their input, as well as just knocking on doors. As much as he regrets it, Council Member Maienschein stated that the area south of Miramar Road should be taken from District 5. It is important to reunite Kearny Mesa and Linda Vista in a single District, and that should be District 6; or however that would be cut between six and two. If everything was taken south from there it would reduce the District by approximately 27,500 people, and is within the 10 percent figure of the projected census numbers. Therefore, it would be legally acceptable. Council Member Maienschein stated that they could stop there; that would be his recommendation maintaining the integrity of the rest of the Districts. Under no circumstances should District 5 lose single tracts from the community of Rancho Bernardo. Moving into District 1 would be very detrimental to them because Rancho Bernardo has nothing in common with coastal communities. Council Member Maienschein stated there was nothing in his view that Scripps Ranch had in common with District 1, or District 7, and that he also believes Mira Mesa should remain in District 5, and together. Council Member Maienschein wished to thank the members of Rancho Penasquitos who came out, stating he would love nothing more to add Rancho Penasquitos. However, with the numbers the Commission is facing, that wouldn't work out. Council Member Maienschein wished to remind everyone that Scripps Ranch elected their City Council Member, and Rancho Penasquitos elected theirs, and to try to somehow exchange that out would send a bad message to all the people who voted. Survey after survey shows that people feel that their vote doesn't count, and to take away their right to pick their representative is something to look at very critically. Lastly, Council Member Maienschein wished to thank everyone for coming out, and what they said tonight, and how honored he feels that people have put their faith in him. Council Member Maienschein strongly suggested on behalf of the residents in his District to only cut from Miramar Road south.
Chairman Pesqueria stated that the comment Council Member Maienschein mentioned - being within the 10 percent -- and the way government looks at all of this -- they have reasonable expectations that they will keep all 8 Districts in a pretty balanced number. Chairman Pesquieria stated that there is what the government considers to be a reasonable amount, as well as defendable in Court. There may be some Districts that will have to go over or under, but the Commission is shooting for around 5 percent.
Leland Saito wished to thank everyone for their comments, and that he had taken a minute to look at the wonderful library; however, it would be even a better library if it carried some of his books.
Charles Johnson wished to say it was a great pleasure to be here tonight, and was reminded of his grandmother saying, "everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die." Mr. Johnson stated the Commission would do their best.
Shirley ODell stated that what everyone had to say tonight was an amazing testimony to Council Member Maienschein, and that it was very exciting to be here tonight.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: C042-124.)
The meeting was adjourned by Chairman Ralph Pesqueira at 7:50 p.m.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: C125.)
Ralph Pesqueira, Chairman
2000 Redistricting Commission
(OCA)Legislative Recorder II
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