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Grossmont-Cuyamaca Moves to District Elections for Governing Board Trustees

Beginning in the 2012 elections, the district will be divided into five trustee areas and voters in those areas will elect a trustee to represent them.

Public hearings will be held Nov. 15 and Dec. 13 on the new areas being proposed for election of the five Governing Board members for the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

Trustees have been elected at-large by voters in the more than 1,100-square-mile East County district that stretches from the East County cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Santee to the Imperial County line. Beginning in the 2012 elections, the district will be divided into five trustee areas and voters in those areas will elect a trustee to represent them.

District elections will begin with the June 2012 primary. The top two vote-getters in the primary will face each other in the November 2012 general election.

The college district is one of many government agencies around California that are revising their elections process to comply with the California Voting Rights Act of 2001. District elections provide greater assurance that minority populations are equitably represented at the voting booth.

The public is invited to comment on the proposals at a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Cuyamaca College student center, 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway, El Cajon, CA. A second public hearing will be held Dec. 13 at Griffin Gate at Grossmont College, 8800 Grossmont College Dr., El Cajon. Maps and directions to Cuyamaca College are available at www.cuyamaca.edu,  and directions for Grossmont College can be found at www.grossmont.edu

The college district hired consultants from National Demographics Corp. to draw up the maps creating five trustee areas with approximately equal populations. Almost 465,000 people live in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, with about 90 percent of them residing west of Alpine. According to the 2010 census, the district is 60 percent white, 25 percent Hispanic, 7 percent African-American, 5 percent Asian and 3 percent other.

In drawing the boundary lines, the consultants considered factors including already-established communities such as the East County cities, natural boundaries such as canyons or highways, and creating trustee areas with compact, contiguous territory as much as possible.

More information about redistricting, including the proposed district maps and census data, is available at www.gcccd.edu.

–Taken from a press release from the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

K November 08, 2011 at 06:07 PM
The California Voting Rights Act of 2001is a terrible blow to democratic representation and a sham which we should work to repeal. Far from protecting the "good of the public," it undermines it. It stifles competition for the overall most qualified candidates. You may have two supremely qualified candidate in one geographic area but only one can be elected, while a less qualified candidate will be elected simply because of the randomness of where they live. Equally bad, it in effect disenfranchises four-fifths (in the case of a five member board) of the voting public. No longer will each Board Member be accountable to all the voting public, benefitting instead from comparatively less competitive, safe seats. Geographic safe seats are exactly why the Helix Water District has been able to continue so long despite its undisguised arrogance and disregard towards the public. Up until now the public has paid little attention to water issues and they have bee able to fly under the radar, but with water politics gaining more attention let's hope this changes some. Unfortunately with the safe geographic seats, he public's ability to effect change will be limited.
barry tarvin November 08, 2011 at 06:08 PM
This is a great idea, finally there will be representation for all the district's constituents. Now, will the GUHSD have the guts to follow the lead of the GCCCD board?
Miriam Raftery November 15, 2011 at 07:22 AM
Bad idea. Look at the GUHSD. It keeps voting no on a high school for Alpine even after voters twice voted to tax themselves, even after numerous kids died on the highways driving too far to school. If GUHSD does this (and I hear they want to, so they won't have to be answerable to Alpine voters) then 4 or 5 board members won't have to care what Alpine voters think. Ditto in the Helix Water District, where voters in Mt Helix with larger lots have long complained of unfair pricing that gouges anyone who can't use as little water as someone with a postage stamp sized lot. Board members should be answerable to ALL voters in the district in my view.

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