By James Rufus Koren Staff Writer
Created: 06/24/2011 08:49:32 PM PDT
Upland leaders have told the county Board of Supervisors that they don’t want their city cut in half when the county draws new supervisorial districts.
Preliminary maps recently presented to the board show Upland split down 13th and 14th streets.
While the maps are not a formal proposal, Upland leaders say they’re not happy about the idea of the city straddling two districts.
“The smaller the city, the more effect if you divide it,” Mayor Ray Musser said. “The changes need to keep our city whole.”
The maps were presented at a June 17 meeting that was was an early step in the county’s redistricting process.
Every 10 years, following the U.S. Census, counties and states must redraw the boundaries of their supervisorial and legislative districts to make sure districts have the same number of residents.
San Bernardino County’s big but uneven growth in the past decade means the current supervisorial districts will have to shift quite a bit to add or subtract residents.
The sprawling 1st District, which includes most of the county’s desert region, must lose more than 58,000 people, while the 4th District, which represents the southwest corner of the county, will have to gain nearly 41,000.
The meeting gave county residents their first chance to weigh in on just how the supervisors should draw the lines.
Musser said dividing northern and southern Upland would strike a chord in the city.
Residents south of Foothill Boulevard, Musser said, “feel they’re not being treated equally. You bring this up and that’s an emotional thing.”
Upland City Councilman Ken Willis said he sees a partisan political motive in how the city was divided.
“It looks to me … like kind of a slapstick grab of nice conservative neighborhoods north of Foothill (Boulevard) to pull them down into the 4th District,” Willis said. “It really does look like some old-fashioned gerrymandering to me.”
But keeping Upland whole could prove difficult.
“I think the Upland discussion highlighted the tough choices that face the supervisors,” said Douglas Johnson, one of the county’s redistricting consultants.
The 4th District, which currently includes all of Ontario, Montclair, Chino and Chino Hills, has to take in nearly 41,000 people. The district borders Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga and Upland, but all three cities have far more than 41,000 residents, meaning the district needs to split a city.
“As the Upland folks point out, the district needs to add population, but it can’t add all of Upland and it can’t add all of Fontana,” Johnson said.
He implied Fontana residents might put up a similar fight if the district split off part of their city.
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