LEMOORE — The end of the public hearing on voting district maps at the Lemoore City Council meeting was filled with the City Council giving head nods to the fact that they prefer maps 102 and 104.
The council is in the process of creating voting districts and holding public hearings to gain resident input on the changes.
In public hearing three out of five, Shalice Tilton, senior consultant with the National Demographics Corporation, presented the four current potential maps for voting districts in Lemoore and reminded the public that maps can be submitted for consideration until Feb. 11.
More discussion of maps will be held at the Feb. 20 meeting.
Some of the key factors Tilton said should be in the map are evenness in population and open boundaries for future growth.
Each district should have as close to 4,906 residents as possible. Tilton said that when making district maps race cannot be used as a determining factor, but she suggested that the Council not “dilute the Latino voice” when selecting a map.
In case the city boundary expands, there should be the opportunity for each district to expand outward. The current maps have at least one boundary of the districts lined up with the city limits.
The population information used to make the maps is from the 2010 census. The next census will be done in 2020, and the council will need to redistrict in 2021. After that, they would only need to redistrict every 10 years but could opt for more frequent redistricting.
“Yeah, but there are dollars tied to every time we do this,” Councilman Dave Brown said.
Tom Reed, a resident of Lemoore, said there should also be consideration of homes built near the golf course that are not reflected in the 2010 census, and Mayor Ray Madrigal agreed that should be a factor considered.
Brown and Councilwoman Holly Blair said there should be some consideration of the potential growth in population near West Hills College and south of 198.
The council also is considering when the voting cycle for each district would occur. Currently maps 102, 103 and 104 have a single council member in each district. In map 101, the District D has councilmen Eddie Neal and Jeff Chedester sharing a district.
Tilton said that there are some maps that the public has drawn, but have not submitted. When on the online drawing site, there is an option to share the map and submit the map. If a map is shared, the people that go on the site can see the map, but the council will not consider it as a potential district map unless it is submitted.
Maps 101 and 102 were submitted from the public.
Maps can be accessed and drawn at drawlemoore.org. With the approved maps, there is a PDF image and a sheet that includes the population breakdown per district and other demographics of the population.