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Ripon trustee redistricting getting close look by county

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POSTED February 16, 2012 1:16 a.m.

RIPON — Plans showing the proposed boundaries for Ripon Unified’s redistricting for school board representatives were scheduled for review Wednesday by the San Joaquin County Office of Education.

Trustees, from there, can expect to get a better idea as to where their plans stand with the Commission on School District Organization.

“The boundary descriptions of the new trustee areas were submitted to the county,” Trustee Ernie Tyhurst said. “(The commission) can review the map alignments.

“They can uphold the recommendation or tell us unilaterally to make changes.”

Either way, RUSD can expect to receive directions on redistricting in order to move forward. Revisions, if necessary, will go back to Ripon for a soon-to-be-scheduled public hearing and forwarded to the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters in time to make the November ballot.

Three public hearings on the matter were held in recent months on the mapping of the five areas of representation for elected officials.

Last month, the board approved the detailed binder that outlined the process used for determining the need for redistricting and the process used to collect input from the community.

Tyhurst and his colleague, Kit Oase, spearheaded the plan of realigning the trustee areas based on the population of each area being in compliance with the “one person, one vote” principle. They also saved the district between $5,000 and $30,000 by doing this process in-house rather than a private contractor.

Tyhurst and Oase were familiar with reapportionment.

Their numbers were taken from the 2010 census. The district considered looking into reapportionment based on the city’s growth of over 4,000 residents in the past 10 years. Ripon’s population jumped from 13,183 in 2000 to the current 17,361.

The trustee areas, according to the proposal, consisted of dividing Ripon into five areas. Each elected officials from 2012 on will represent some 3,472 people and at least one school site.

“We’ve looked at the boundaries and they appear balanced and aligned,” Trustee Donna Parks said.

RUSD, in addition, could look to retain the current election process of at-large or opt for trustee areas.

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