10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

By DUANE W. GANG
The Press-Enterprise

Riverside County will hold three community meetings next month to gather input from residents on how officials should redraw supervisorial district boundaries.

During the past decade, the county’s population soared nearly 42 percent to 2,189,641, census figures released last week show. The county added 644,254 new residents.

The national census, conducted every 10 years, determines how much states and regions get in federal funding and triggers requirements to reapportion districts so residents are equally represented.

Supervisors, who have the final say over redistricting, established a committee last year to help draft proposals.

The committee consists of each board member’s chief of staff, Assessor Larry Ward and Jay Orr, an assistant county executive officer. It has met regularly in recent months.

Supervisor John Benoit said the county is months ahead of others in California.

“It doesn’t mean that this process is going to be flawless or without some interesting debate and conversations,” Benoit said.

At a special meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss the new census numbers, the committee agreed to tentatively hold the community meetings April 20, 21 and 27.

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