S.B. County: Supervisors’ favored remapping option puts more of those communities among two districts.
10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, August 9, 2011
By IMRAN GHORI
The Press-Enterprise

A divided San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday selected a draft map of new political boundaries that will move more of the San Bernardino Mountains into the 2nd District.

The board adopted the proposed lines on a 3-2 vote following a more than three- hour hearing where many mountain residents urged supervisors to make the region part of one supervisorial district.

The area is now split between two districts with Crestline part of the 2nd District and the areas from Lake Arrowhead to Big Bear in the 3rd District.

The new map would split the area even further with Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs also now part of the 2nd District and the Big Bear Valley remaining in the 3rd District.

The proposed map would also move Barstow from the 1st District to the 3rd District, half of Upland from the 2nd District to the 4th District, and Twentynine Palms from the 1st District to the 3rd District.

The county’s consultant, National Demographics Corporation, recommended the option out of five maps considered as the best able to meet different county criteria.

It moves the smallest number of residents into another district — 163,000 compared to as many as 327,000 under other plans — and splits the fewest number of cities, county spokesman David Wert said.

Supervisor Neil Derry, who pushed to have all the mountain communities in his 3rd District, objected to the plan. He described it as “idiotic” and an example of gerrymandering.

“I think it’s a shame that we’ll go down this road and divide these communities even further when they clearly by a 10-to-1 ratio don’t want this,” he said.

1st District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt also voted against the plan, saying he believed the board needs more time to make a decision.

But Board Chairwoman Josie Gonzales and Supervisors Gary Ovitt and Janice Rutherford called the plan a good compromise, noting that any plan they choose will draw some complaints.

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