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Trustees Take Another Stab at Redistricting

Capo Unified will consider two new maps, both of which divide cities into two – or more – areas.

trustees and the public will give input tonight on two new maps that redraw the areas from which the seven trustees are elected.

The district looks at its trustee boundary areas every 10 years, right after . By law, the districts must have roughly the same number of people residing in them.

This year’s adjustment, however, takes on new meaning now that the , instead of at large.

The trustees  their consultant National Demographics of Glendale submitted last month. However, they wanted some revisions with an eye toward protecting Hispanic voters, watching for whether parents will end up in one trustee area but their students’ schools in another and being mindful of natural, geographic and manmade boundaries, such as roads and freeways.

The first new map, called Plan F, keeps intact the cities of San Juan Capistrano – currently divided among four trustee areas in a suspiciously gerrymandered-looking map – Dana Point, Aliso Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita. The unincorporated areas of Ladera Ranch, Coto de Caza and Las Flores are also left whole.

It would divide in two San Clemente and Laguna Niguel, and divide Mission Viejo into three trustee areas.

Splitting San Clemente between two trustees “is unavoidable because the city is too large to fit within a single trustee area,” states a memo to the board from National Demographics.

Laguna Niguel would share trustee areas with residents from the city of Dana Point in one area and Aliso Viejo in another.

Mission Viejo also presents a challenge to a tidy map, the report states.

“The two trustees residing in Mission Viejo are one factor in its division, but even if that were not a factor [it] would still be very difficult to unite the city given its shape, location and the results of minimizing divisions of other cities,” the report says.

The second map, or Plan G, addresses the problem Mission Viejo presents in Plan F. Most of Mission Viejo is in a single area with a smaller portion joined with Laguna Niguel.

This plan follows more closely high school attendance boundary lines, the report states. San Clemente is still split, but differently, with the portion west of the I-5 grouped with Dana Point and a small portion of San Juan Capistrano.

“In general, Plan G illustrates the challenge and tradeoffs in maintaining the integrity of every city in the district. In order to reduce the splits of Mission Viejo in Plan F, other divisions must be made, particularly in Laguna Niguel,” the report states.

Also on tonight’s agenda is:

  • A public hearing to allow Oxford Preparatory Academy, a first-year charter school,
  • A proposal to take out not to exceed $25 million so that the district can meet financial demands through the end of the year
  • The possible appointment, in closed session, of two part-time, interim employees to fill the shoes of Ron Lebs, deputy superintendent of business services, to go to Fullerton Joint Union High School.

 The Board of Trustees meets 7 p.m. tonight at the district headquarters, 33122 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano.

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