County officials Tuesday will appoint nine people to a committee charged with redrawing lines of districts from which voters will pick future supervisors.
Although San Mateo County is already divided into five districts, with a supervisor living in and representing each, officials agreed to review the lines as a settlement of a lawsuit over its previous at-large system. On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will appoint the committee composed of four elected officials and five public members. An alternative public member will also be named.
County Manager John Maltbie recommends supervisors Adrienne Tissier and Warren Slocum, Daly City Councilman Sal Torres and East Palo Alto Councilwoman Laura Martinez as the elected members. The five recommended public members are William Nack of Menlo Park for District Four, Barbara Arietta of Pacifica for District Three, Hayden Lee of Millbrae for District One, Rebecca Ayson of Daly City for District Five and Raymond Lee of San Mateo for District Two. Eric Reed of Belmont is suggested as the alternate.
The suggested names were chosen from a pool of 30 applicants vetted by the San Mateo County League of Women Voters and recommended by both it and the plaintiffs in the underlying lawsuit.
The league did not interview the candidates but did seek geographic diversity and differing backgrounds, according to a recommendation message to the Board of Supervisors from Jacqueline Jacobberger, president of the League of Women Voters of North and Central San Mateo County.
Ethnic diversity was desired but not listed as a question on the application form.
The committee is expected to study the boundaries, collect public input and make a recommendation on the new district lines by Sept. 13. The outreach is expected to cost the county approximately $100,000.
The county last adjusted its boundary lines as required in September 2011 following the census. The changes moved a piece of San Mateo from District One to District Two and a piece of Belmont from District Two to District Three. The result left District One with 139,933 people, District Two with 147,731, District Three with 143,936, District Four with 143,443 and District Five with 143,408.
The county's election system -- the precursor to the redistricting -- has long been a matter for debate in San Mateo County. Voters twice rejected proposals to make the county hold district elections but, in April 2011, six residents and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights sued, claiming the existing system diluted minority votes and proved a barrier to Latino and Asian candidates securing county office. Last year, the Board of Supervisors agreed to ask voters what method they wanted and a ruling in the court case was postponed until after Election Day. Voters approved a charter change, putting San Mateo County in line with every other county statewide, but the plaintiffs refused to drop the lawsuit.
In November, rather than wait for a judicial decision on whether the suit was moot, both sides agreed to settle the matter with redrawn lines and the county picking up attorney fees.
Officials estimate the new lines will be in place before the June 2014 primary for the Board of Supervisor election.
The Board of Supervisors meets 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 9 in Board Chambers, 400 County Government Center, Redwood City.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102.