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CoCo supes OK new district maps on 3-2 vote

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 at 5:49 pm in Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics.

Contra Costa supervisors narrowly adopted new electoral maps today that will shift half the county’s population into a new districts just in time for the 2012 election.

Click here to view the map. Or see it below.

On a contentious 3-2 vote, supervisors Federal Glover, John Gioia and Karen Mitchoff prevailed after months of discord and no map had the three votes it needed to pass.

Supervisors Mary Nejedly Piepho and Gayle Uilkema, whose four-year terms end in 2012, supported a configuration that would have left the existing boundaries largely intact and kept all cities within single district.

Glover and Gioia, of Pittsburg and Richmond, respectively, had unsuccessfully pushed their preferred map for weeks, one that would result in significant boundary shifts for four of the five supervisors.

The men finally secured a third vote after they agreed to push all of Concord into Mitchoff’s district. The former Pleasant Hill councilwoman had opposed a split of Concord between her and Glover, and she refused to budge.

As the divided vote suggests, the new map has winners and losers.

Walnut Creek, Antioch, Pinole and the San Ramon Valley will each have two supervisors, an outcome the cities opposed. It’s not all bad for Walnut Creek — it has three supervisors under the current map.

Here’s an overview:

The new map shifts Piepho, of Discovery Bay, out of the bulk of San Ramon Valley and into a large, East Contra Costa district that consists of Oakley, Brentwood, Byron, Knighten and most of Antioch.

Piepho retains Blackhawk and the Tassajara Valley, which worries environmentalists. A developer has proposed a housing and orchard project in the Tassajara Valley and opponents  lobbied to shift its representation away from Piepho, a Republican considered less likely to reject the development.

The slice of the San Ramon Valley remained in Piepho’s district because in order to keep Concord whole and make the numbers work, Piepho had to absorb additional population elsewhere.

Uilkema, of Lafayette, will lose Martinez, Rodeo and Hercules and shift into the San Ramon Valley towns of Danville, Alamo and San Ramon. She retains Rossmoor and Lamorinda.

Glover’s district shifts west, stretching from an industrial area in northern Antioch along the waterfront to Hercules and portions of Pinole. He will represent Martinez. His new map means he will have a large crop of new constituents. But may work in his favor as he is widely viewed as vulnerable in his 2012 re-election bid. The move allows him to start fresh with voters who don’t know him.

Mitchoff’s territory expands into Walnut Creek, which is split into two supervisor districts under the new map. It has three representatives under the current configuration. She will continue to represent Concord, Pleasant Hill and Clayton.

Gioia will see the least change – he gains half of Pinole but the rest of his district stays the same.

The supervisors must still adopt the official district line language, which it has scheduled for Aug. 9 at 10 a.m. But the lines are very unlikely to change.

The supervisors were visibly relieved to put redistricting behind them. They have quarreled both in public and behind-the-scenes over the divisive subject, raising questions about whether hard feelings might spill into other issues.

“The one thing I can say about the redistricting map is that I am glad it is done,” Uilkema said after the meeting.

To view all the maps produced for redistricting and to see the current boundaries, visit www.ccredistricting.org.

Contra Costa Board of Supervisors 2011 district map

Contra Costa Board of Supervisors 2011 district map

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  • John W

    Looks fairly righteous. Mitchoff obviously played her bargaining cards well. Does this increase odds of somebody giving Piepho and Uilkema a serious race? You would think Mayor Wilson or somebody from the Danville council could have a good shot at Uilkema’s seat if they worked at it.

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Surely noone believes Mitchoff’s claim that there was no violation of the Ralph M. Brown Act in coming to this decision. The vote should be contested on that basis before the August 9 Hearing.

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Surely nobody believes Mitchoff’s claim that there was no violation of the Ralph M. Brown Act in coming to this decision. The vote should be contested on that basis before the August 9 Hearing.

  • rew

    I think Glover’s new voters will like him, he is really good guy.He’s good on the enviroment, that will be a plus in this new district, I think

  • Common Tater

    Dear Mr. Hoffmann,

    Prove it!

  • Elwood

    @ Common Tater

    Walks like a duck, etc.

  • John W

    I don’t know about the process vis-a-vis Brown Act etc., but the result looks very good to me; especially making District 3 an almost exclusively East County district that excludes most of the SR Valley. That’s good for both East County and SRV. Piepho must be really annoyed with Mitchoff for jumping over to the other side once her needs were met.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    If the Supies accomplished anything of note, this would be important news.