City Council moves forward with by-district elections
–Paso Robles City Council conducted a hearing Tuesday night on a plan to develop districts for the election of council members. Douglas Johnson of National Demographics described plans to outline city maps to create districts for four individual council members. (The mayor will be elected by an at-large vote.)
Members of the community can go on-line to the city website and draw their own maps to contribute to the process.
Johnson says the City of Santa Monica has spent between $5-8 million dollars fighting a lawsuit filed by Kevin Shenkman who alleges cities are violating the California Voting Rights Act of 2001. So far, they have not gone to trial. Shenkman has sued dozens of cities with the same argument. Douglas Johnson has advised over 100 cities, school districts, water districts and others how to develop election districts. Paso Robles and many other municipalities are developing districts to avoid paying exorbitant legal fees.
The next step is to develop the maps for the city council districts. The city council will fine tune those maps on Feb. 22.