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County will not include prison population in new supervisorial districts

May 16, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

The county's two state prison populations will not be included in any of the county's supervisorial districts when efforts to redraw the districts are complete.

By a unanimous vote Tuesday, the county Board of Supervisors decided the approximately 8,400 prisoners will not count toward the population in any supervisor's district.

The board was told by County Counsel Ralph Córdova Jr. that opinions by two state attorneys general said the exclusion may be made.

The issue was one of several the board made decisions on to provide direction for the technical advisory committee tasked with the development of the new supervisorial boundaries.


Calipatria and Centinela state prisons were built after the 1990 census and thus the issue had not been addressed.

On other redistricting issues, the board voted to not mandatorily include outlying, or unincorporated, areas into each supervisorial district, that the new boundaries will follow natural boundaries and straight lines as much as possible and that District 5 should not include a portion of west Calexico and in return District 1 will give up a portion of the east county to District 5.

The board reiterated that three public hearings will be conducted June 18, 19 and 20 to present the new boundaries to the community. The hearings will all start at 7 p.m., and be in Brawley, Calexico and El Centro, though the exact locations are still not set.

In other business, the board voted 4-1 to reduce the number of board meetings to the first four of any given month, subject to holidays and board agreement. The same vote established a committee of the whole that will meet at 9 a.m. on the first four Mondays of any month, with exceptions for holidays and by board agreement.

Voting "aye" were supervisors Hank Kuiper, Joe Maruca, Tony Tirado and Gary Wyatt. Supervisor Wally Leimgruber voted "nay," stating he thinks committee of the whole meetings will increase county costs, are a duplication of efforts for county staff and should be abolished.

Córdova said the board will have to change board rules and county ordinances before the change may take effect.

The board also:

· voted to allow the district attorney to use $83,075.37 from salary savings to cover the cost of furnishing offices and other areas in the new west wing of the County Administration Center.

County Executive Officer Ann Capela said the transfer of such funds — a common practice — will end and suggested the board establish a capital outlays fund for such costs. She said to not do so leads to a different budget than that presented to the public.

· declared May 20-26 as emergency medical services week.

· approved a request by the Sheriff's Office for a six-week vehicle-use agreement with General Dynamics Land Systems for the use of a $420,000 emergency police rescue vehicle called a Prowler. The loan would be at no cost to the county. Other local agencies can use it as well.

"There's a possibility of a use agreement with the company if things work out," said Sheriff Harold Carter.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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