Wednesday, February 24, 2016

• District Conversion Update 7: Map Chosen

The meeting lasted about an hour and a half, which included a recess of about 15 minutes. It started much the way the previous meeting did, with the council at the dais, then moving to the audience to hear a presentation by demographer Douglas Johnson.
Before the meeting Planning Commissioner Veronica Langworthy chats with Planning Director Matt Bassi and fellow commissioner Stan Smith (far right) and Maria Walker, about the draft maps on display at the back of the room.

The public comments were down to four this meeting
  • George Taylor spoke of the pros and cons of the various maps, and provided some levity when he used the term "violently opposed" instead of "vehemently opposed." We all knew what he meant, but it was still fodder for banter, and he took it all in stride. (quick link to that remark)
  • John Lloyd who spoke about how all the efforts of the desegregation era seem to be getting undone now. 
  • Veronica Langworthy mentioned several discrepancies that she'd found in the data, and Douglas Johnson answered later. 
  • Joseph Morabito (that's me) asked how the new districts would affect how planning commissioners are chosen, which was also answered (they aren't affected).
The council seemed to be favoring Draft Map A, but didn't like a few areas that split neighborhoods. The problem in our small city is that with every adjustment here, requires another adjustment there.

The demographer has to keep to census blocks as they currently exist, and not just draw the lines wherever they choose to. As you can see in the image below, the reason why the neighborhood (in pink) was being split, is that's where the census block was drawn long ago. This became known as the "Cashew Fix" and the line was moved to accommodate the entire pink area.

The census takers drew the line right down the middle of Cashew Street. 

Before the council had a chance to vote on a particular map, Councilmember Ben Benoit asked for a ten minute break. During that time he got with the demographer and experimented with moving a few blocks here and there.

In the end, they came up with a map dubbed Draft Map A+. Which was then voted in unanimously.
A proper map will be available online at the city's website in a day or two.

Several odd notches were eliminated, and a neighborhood at the top of this map, (near Crooked Arrow Drive) that had been slated for District 2 was brought into District 1. Also, the new neighborhoods that are off of Clinton Keith and Stable Lanes were included with the rest of Windsong Valley that is found in District 3.

Here are the councilmember's districts
  • 1  Ben Benoit
  • 2  Bob Cashman
  • 3  Tim Walker
  • 4  Bridgette Moore
  • 5  Marsha Swanson

If you watch the video, you can hear the reasons why some neighborhoods had to be split. Especially the one called The Ridge just east of Ronald Reagan Elementary. It has to do with the census lines, and they will be redrawn in 2020, when our districts will be updated to reflect whatever the realities are at that time.

Next time this comes up will be at the regularly scheduled city council meeting in March where Draft Map A+ will be formally adopted. There is still a small chance that a few minor tweaks could be made to the map, but that didn't seem like a reality based on what I gathered at the meeting.

•        •        •

Two proud men can't ride one donkey. 
— English Proverb

Wildomar Rap reminds you to: Shake, shake, shake (horns go here) shake, shake, shake (more horns go here) shake your booty, shake your boooooty.


  1. Are the black lines the A+ map lines? What are the purple lines?

    1. Yes, the black lines delineate the districts.

      The purple dotted line is the never used district lines from 2009. The demographer had those as a reminder of what they came up with based on the 2000 census, but are no longer valid due to population fluctuations.


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