CARLSBAD — The city is expected to unveil potential maps of City Council districts on June 22, ahead of the first of two public hearings to gather input on the maps.
The City Council settled on four districts and electing the mayor at-large at a meeting on June 13, and asked for input and map ideas from residents to create four population-balanced districts. Valid maps will be included alongside maps prepared by the demographer for a public hearing on June 29.
One of the questions affecting the transition to districts was whether to proceed with four districts, keeping the mayor’s position elected at-large, or create five districts and rotate the mayor.
Due in large part to a 1964 initiative where Carlsbad voters chose to elect their mayor, the council unanimously chose to proceed with four council districts, keeping the mayor’s position elected at-large.
Doug Johnson, the demographer, said they received a total of 17 maps through the city’s online tool by the June 19 deadline. Nine maps reflect the four districts the City Council chose to proceed with, while eight reflect the five-district system the City Council previously considered.
“I’m hopeful they’ll be population balanced,” Johnson said, adding that his team will recommend slight modifications to some of the four-district maps provided by residents to meet that requirement.
At the June 13 meeting, residents mainly expressed their general frustration at moving to districts.
“This has been thrust upon us and we don’t have a choice,” Laurie Boone said. “But if we had a choice I would be saying, ‘I don’t want to do this because the councils over the years worked cooperatively. We don’t have a city council fighting against each other.’”
Johnson said overall they’ve had good participation from residents, as well as strong turnout for their weekend meetings.