The El Dorado Irrigation District’s five representation divisions will likely see some boundary changes.
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The EID board approved a draft schedule of activities and assigned General Counsel Tom Cumpston as staff liaison and project manager for the process of reviewing and redrawing the divisions from which the district’s five Board members are elected.
As part of its action Feb. 28, the board authorized Cumpston to form an advisory committee and conduct proactive public outreach to help guide the redistricting effort.
The 2010 decennial census triggers a mandatory legal duty for the district to review its division boundaries and adjust them as necessary to ensure that its ratepayers continue to receive fair and equal representation.
State law bars all changes of division boundaries within 180 days of a board election. Because the federal government is not expected to release detailed census data for another month, and because the district wishes to involve the public via the advisory committee and public outreach meetings, this state-law restriction makes it impossible to have the new boundaries drawn in time for the upcoming EID Board election on Nov. 8.
“This is a tough task,” said Albert Hazbun, a district customer who was in attendance at the board meeting, adding that he thinks the district should not adopt new division boundaries until after the election so it does not become a political issue. Cumpston will provide regular updates at future board meetings to inform the board and the public of progress made.
The draft schedule approved projects the completion of the process in late August.