Shasta County supervisors are backing a redistricting plan that shifts neighborhoods like Mary Lake in west Redding and communities like Happy Valley into different districts.
Supervisors are expected to make it official Dec. 7 when they vote on the new maps during a public hearing.
On Monday, the five supervisors unanimously got behind a plan that would move Mary Lake residents and surrounding neighborhoods south of Eureka Way out of District 1 and into District 2.
Leonard Moty is the District 2 supervisor, while Joe Chimenti represents District 1. Chimenti has said he will not run for reelection next June.
The new supervisorial maps will not be in effect for the Feb. 1 recall election that Moty faces. Current District 2 residents will vote in the recall.
Meanwhile, Happy Valley, now in District 2, would move to District 5, represented by Les Baugh. Baugh’s district, though, would lose the Churn Creek Bottom, which would move to District 2.
Baugh called the plan presented by Assistant Registrar of Voters Joanna Francescut “brilliant” in large part because it would put Happy Valley in District 5, though Baugh said he would be disappointed to lose the political activism of Churn Creek Bottom residents.
“A third of my calls come from Happy Valley and that’s not because of whoever is supervisor,” Baugh said during the special redistricting meeting.
It’s because, Baugh added, Happy Valley residents assume they are in the same district as Anderson and Cottonwood residents. In fact, many Happy Valley residents send their children to West Valley High School in Cottonwood.
“The trade-off ... it would be hard to give up Churn Creek Bottom for an existing supervisor. But the existing supervisor is leaving so that would be for the next supervisor to have to deal with,” said Baugh, who will not be running for reelection next June. “But there’s not doubt that Churn Creek Bottom has been the most active rural district in my district. It’s the only politically active district that has actually changed the course of the future of the entire county because of their involvement in a couple of issues.”
In 2012, Churn Creek Bottom residents led the charge against the development of a regional shopping center after supervisors approved the 740,000-square-foot project in their neighborhood. The shopping center went to the ballot and the supervisors’ decision was overwhelmingly overturned by voters.
Before that, Churn Creek Bottom Homeowners and Friends voiced opposition to a proposed auto mall in their neighborhood. That project was defeated 3-2 by supervisors in March 2007.
Moty doesn’t like the idea of District 2 losing Happy Valley but agrees that it makes sense to align the community with Anderson and Cottonwood.
“So, I think it’s a good plan,” Moty told Francescut.
Redistricting is done every 10 years to account for population shifts and keep electoral districts as equal as possible in population, county Clerk and Registrar of Voters Cathy Darling Allen has said.
Last April, supervisors appointed an advisory committee to help with redistricting. Each supervisor picked a committee member.
Committee members appointed were:
Bruce Ross, District 1
Betty Harrison-Smith, District 2
Kerry Caranci, District 3
Mark Kent, District 4
Jane Work, District 5
The advisory commission held seven public meetings and six workshops between late May and the middle of October.
Supervisors were presented with two plans at their first public hearing on redistricting on Nov. 9. Based on their questions and concerns, election officials went back and fine-tuned the maps, ultimately adding three more alternatives for supervisors to consider.
The Dec. 7 meeting is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. in Shasta County Supervisors Chambers on Court Street in downtown Redding.
David Benda covers business, development and anything else that comes up for the USA TODAY Network in Redding. He also writes the weekly "Buzz on the Street" column. He’s part of a team of dedicated reporters that investigate wrongdoing, cover breaking news and tell other stories about your community. Reach him on Twitter @DavidBenda_RS or by phone at 1-530-225-8219. To support and sustain this work, please subscribe today.
This article originally appeared on Redding Record Searchlight: Proposed Shasta County district maps would put some west Redding, Churn Creek Bottom residents in new district