San Luis County supervisors remain divided, and the community of Templeton is pleading not to be divided.
On Aug. 23, county supervisors on a 3-2 vote took yet another step toward redrawing district boundary lines. They must have a new layout of the five supervisorial districts by November that adjusts for the 24,424-person population growth in the county over the last decade.
Though a majority of supervisors—Adam Hill, Bruce Gibson, and Jim Patterson—favor a redistricting option that spreads the population evenly, within a 2-percent difference between districts, Templeton residents don’t like the proposal.
Under that option, Templeton would be divided into not two, but three districts, bringing Gibson’s coastal District 2 into a rural North County community.
“I don’t know what you have to gain by splitting up Templeton in this way,” said Jeff DeBrish of the Templeton Area Advisory Group.
Indeed, many Templeton residents—including such groups as the local Chamber of Commerce—oppose the plan supervisors have laid out. Some have criticized publicly that the majority opinion is favoring a plan residents hate in order to make political gains.
Supervisor Frank Mecham has proposed another plan that would split Templeton into just two districts—he says his constituents prefer this option—but has hit opposition from other supervisors because the proposal would add about 380 residents to either his or Patterson’s districts.
“I think our job is to listen to what the folks want, and I’m not seeing that,” Mecham told New Times.
The board majority voted to schedule the redistricting plan for a Sept. 6 hearing. Mecham and Supervisor Paul Teixeira voted against the proposal. Mecham told New Times he will continue to fight against any plan that would trisect Templeton.