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Mayor to county: Don’t divide Manteca again

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POSTED April 3, 2011 11:54 p.m.
Mayor Willie Weatherford wants to end Manteca’s status as a divided city when it comes to representation on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.

That is why at Tuesday’s council meeting Weatherford is hoping his colleagues will agree to send a letter to the Board of Supervisors recommending Manteca be included in just one supervisorial district when redistricting takes place later this year.

Manteca is currently split between two districts.

•The area north of Yosemite Avenue and west of Main Street is part of District 3 currently represented by Steve J. Bestolarides.

•The area south of Yosemite Avenue and east of Main Street is part of District 5 currently represented by Leroy Ornellas.

Weatherford noted Manteca is the only city outside of Stockton that is split. Manteca has been a part of two districts for the past 20 years.

State law requires each supervisorial district should be as nearly equal in population as possible which means being within 2 to 3 percent of being the same in terms of people represented.

The county’s population as of April 1 is 685,305. That reflects a 22 percent jump in residents since 2000. A larger share of that growth has been in the South County and North Stockton. As a result District 2, which primarily encompasses Central Stockton, now has 26,071 less residents than the ideal district size while the South County has 30,316 more residents than the ideal size according to Weatherford.

“While Stockton’s population of nearly 300,000 residents makes it mathematically impossible to include in one district, the cities of Tracy, Lathrop, Ripon, Escalon, and Lodi have been included within single districts during previous boundary modifications,” Weatherford noted in a memo to the council.

The mayor noted that with a 2010 population of 67,096, Manteca could easily fit into one ideally sized district which would have to have around 137,061 residents.

“While I believe that all of the supervisors over the past few decades have done a good job of serving Manteca, I believe that Manteca would be better served if we were 50 percent of one district instead of a quarter of two different districts,” Weatherford wrote.

The City Council meets at Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

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