10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, May 24, 2011

By DUANE W. GANG
The Press-Enterprise

A Riverside County committee helping to draft new supervisorial districts will forward two proposals to the Board of Supervisors after failing Tuesday to reach agreement on how best to divide the city of Riverside.

The committee consists of Assessor Larry Ward; Jay Orr, an assistant county executive officer; and each board member’s chief of staff. It has worked for months to create a plan for supervisors to consider.

The city of Riverside currently is divided between the 1st and 2nd Districts, represented by supervisors Bob Buster and John Tavaglione, respectively.

Under the proposals the committee is considering, Tavaglione’s district must gain residents from Buster’s area of the city. But representatives of the two supervisors could not agree on the territory that Buster would give up.

Dave Stahovich, Buster’s top aide, proposed shifting the district boundary in Riverside south to Arlington Avenue. A section north of Arlington to the Union Pacific railroad tracks would go to Tavaglione.

But John Field , Tavaglione’s chief of staff, proposed gaining residents east of Highway 91. His plan would take parts of the Eastside and Victoria neighborhoods and a piece of UC Riverside.

The Board of Supervisors will make the final decision.

“That’s a battle for the board,” Stahovich said.

The national census, conducted every 10 years, triggers requirements to reapportion districts so residents are equally represented.

During the past decade, the county’s population has soared nearly 42 percent, to 2,189,641. That means the five supervisorial districts each should have about 437,928 people.

At the state level, an independent commission oversees redistricting, but here, supervisors have the final say on how to redraw their boundaries. They established the special committee to help draft proposals.

The committee reached consensus on how to reapportion the vast majority of the county.

For instance, Menifee would move from Supervisor Jeff Stone’s 3rd District to Supervisor Marion Ashley’s 5th District. Canyon Lake would move from Stone’s district, which has to shrink by about 80,000 residents, to Buster’s district.

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