Council draws lines for future elections

Council draws lines for future elections
‘Citizens Map 16’: City leaders said they sought to draw voting district lines that coincide as closely as possible with the traditional five communities that make up Encinitas: Old Encinitas, New Encinitas, Leucadia, Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Olivenhain. But because each district must have roughly the same number of people, most-populous New Encinitas was divvied up between its neighbors.

ENCINITAS — Future council members will be selected from four separate electoral districts, with the mayor elected in a citywide election, the Encinitas City Council has decided. 

The City Council voted 3-2 on Nov. 8 to select “Citizens Map 16” as the new electoral map that will take effect in the 2018 election cycle, and also voted to set the sequencing for the district elections. 

Encinitas is one of several cities in North County to transition from at-large elections to a “by-district” format after a Malibu-based law firm slapped the cities with threats of legal action if they did not abandon their elections systems, which they said disenfranchised Latinos.

As first reported by The Coast News, Councilwoman Tasha Boerner Horvath anonymously drew both of the final submissions from which the council selected the final map. Boerner Horvath drew praise and criticism from fellow council members after she failed to disclose that she drew the maps until a public records request filed by The Coast News revealed that she was the author of the final two.

The selected map places each of the current council members in a separate electoral district, with Mark Muir and Joe Mosca’s seats up for election in 2018, and Boerner Horvath and Tony Kranz’s up in 2020.

The council will finalize the map selection and sequencing at the Nov. 15 council meeting as they vote on the second reading of the ordinance that memorializes the district process. 

District 1, which is currently held by Kranz, includes most of Leucadia north of Leucadia Boulevard, Encinitas Ranch and the Town Center. 

District 2, Boerner Horvath’s district, includes the southern edge of Leucadia and Old Encinitas, and runs from Leucadia Boulevard to the north to Santa Fe Drive to the South. 

District 3, which is held by Muir, includes all of Cardiff-by-the-Sea and the easternmost segment of Old Encinitas along Via Cantebria. Muir, who lives in the sliver of Via Cantebria in District 3, said that he believed the district was gerrymandered and would hurt the chance of a future candidate from his neighborhood getting elected.

“I am not concerned about me as much as I am the next person from my neighborhood who wants to run,” Muir said. “This map makes it very difficult.”

Kranz, who also voted against the proposal, has opposed the move to district elections, which he said would divide the community. He has argued that the city should maintain its at-large election and force the hand of the firm, Shenkman & Hughes, to sue, and then defend the lawsuit. 

A number of the community members who have spoken at council meetings leading up to the decision have also implored the city to delay or end the district-forming process for many of the reasons outlined by Kranz. 

2 Comments
  1. Fair & Honest 3 weeks ago

    This is blatant gerrymandering by Councilmember Boerner Horvath, with support from the mayor, both of whom stand to gain from the process. Kranz is the only one with the guts to want to stand up for what’s right and fair. Very sad for Encinitas.

    • Herschel Stern 3 weeks ago

      The gerrymander was built into the process from the start. Even though the two principal communities of interest in Encinitas are coastal and inland, this essential division was explicitly avoided. So instead of having a fair division into two coastal and two inland districts, we get three coastal districts and one inland district, with El Camino Real primarily in Leucadia’s and Cardiff’s districts. Apparently the principle of keeping the five legacy communities intact only counted for four of the communities as New Encinitas was shattered and divided between the other four communities. The adopted district map indeed represents a coup for coastal interests over the beleaguered inland half of the city.

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