At what was scheduled to be the final public redistricting hearing Monday, Nov. 29, another redistricting workshop was scheduled for one week later.
The Board of Supervisors pored over eight publicly submitted draft maps, and one draft map created by county-hired consultant group FLO Analytics, at the Nov. 29 public redistricting hearing. The number of maps was then narrowed to four, and an additional redistricting workshop was scheduled for a week later on Dec. 6 — with better laid out maps for the discussion expected — to choose a final map and make any alterations before the Dec. 15 state-mandated deadline for completion of the county redistricting process.
Points of discussion continued to center on how to split the areas of Weaverville and Post Mountain, the two largest population centers in Trinity County according to 2020 census data, as well as a want for better quality maps during discussions.
Due to its large population size, Weaverville must be split between at least two districts, and where exactly to do that was questioned — down the individual street. Meanwhile, Post Mountain, which was only recently added as a census designated place in the 2020 decennial census, continued to be a point of discussion with a population explosion equivalent enough to make up its own district — though no maps considered Nov. 29 entertained the notion.
Better maps wanted
Sup. Jill Cox first voiced an opinion that better maps were needed at the redistricting hearing when discussions of eight publicly submitted maps began.
“It would be really cool to have a zoomed-in map where we can see down to the street level,” Cox said. “It just feels a little bit ambiguous, a little vague, to try to talk about what we’re not looking at.”
Sup. Liam Gogan also voiced a want for better maps that could show the district lines down to the street level, along with wanting to invite Dero Forslund and Kelly Sheen — both of whom submitted draft maps and have been involved in drawing Trinity County district lines in the past — to a further meeting.
“I think we should get down to the street level map,” Gogan said. “We should also invite Dero (Forslund), Kelly (Sheen), the supervisors and the public to a meeting to try to get this down to a little better detailed map than we have now.”
Sup. Jeremy Brown had some pushback on the idea of adding an additional redistricting discussion after the four already held meetings and months of opportunity for public involvement.
“I’m a little surprised, because I feel like we’ve been having these meetings, and it has been a public process and everyone’s had the ability to make maps. Only eight of them have been made and submitted and it seems like everyone waited until the last minute to request further detailed information. We’ve had this in front of us for months...
“I guess I want to hear a detailed concern about what someone is worried about with some of the communities maybe being split in some ways partially,” Brown said.
“I’m worried about the breaking up of the districts now as they sit and the lack of getting a map down to street level so we can actually tell where the boundaries are street by street.” Sup. Gogan said.
Sup. Groves then added a current problem he sees that he would like to avoid, and reiterated a want for better maps.
“In theory, right now you could have three supervisors out of Weaverville, so balancing that out to the outlying areas… makes it more fair,” Groves said. “The other issue is, I had hoped that as we went down this process the maps would get better… I wasn’t terribly concerned at the first (hearing), but this time I am concerned that we don’t have better maps.”
Ultimately, the board decided to come back for a final redistricting discussion on Dec. 6 with FLO analytics consultant Jerry Oelerich saying better maps would be prepared by them, along with a tool on the county redistricting website (redistricting.trinitycounty.org) to allow the maps to be layered over each other and compared.
With a time decided for further discussions with better maps, Sup. Dan Frasier suggested the board go ahead and go through the current map drafts to rule out any they could, and only bring back more detailed versions of maps the board may actually consider.
By the end of the redistricting meeting, the supervisors had narrowed their list of maps for consideration down to four.
The first map, a revised version Draft map E from the last redistricting hearing, was submitted by FLO Analytics Nov. 24. The three other maps were submitted publicly by Dero Forslund, former CAO for the county; Kelly Sheen, district manager for Trinity County Resource Conservation District; and District 5 Sup. Dan Frasier through the county redistricting website where they can all be viewed online.
Draft Map E, according to FLO Analytics, was designed “to address collective public and Board of Supervisors feedback as fully as possible, with a focus on reuniting and maintaining communities of interest ... and like-minded communities within single districts,” and is the only map that was shown that considers placing all of Douglas City into District 2 with a majority of Weaverville. T
he proposed map also splits Post Mountain between Districts 4 and 5 and unites all of Hayfork into District 3.
Sup. Frasier’s map splits part of Douglas City between Weaverville in District 2, and into District 3, as well as Post Mountain being split three ways between Districts 3, 4 and 5.
Both maps proposed by Forslund and Sheen would split Post Mountain and Douglas City into two districts each, with the main differences coming down to street by street differences.