The Fullerton Redistricting Advisory Commission met for the first time on October 27 in City Council Chambers. The five members directly appointed by City Council were tasked with selecting a chair and vice-chair, appointing two at-large committee members, establishing a meeting schedule, and receiving presentations on the Brown Act, Public Records Act, and Conflict of Interest Filings.
The purpose of the Commission is to study and provide recommendations for re-drawing City Council district boundaries.
At the City Council Meeting on October 5, each City Council member appointed a Fullerton resident to the advisory commission. Kitty Jaramillo who lives in District 4 (D4) was appointed by D5 Councilmember Ahmad Zahra. James Lira (a resident of D1) was appointed by D1 Council-member Fred Jung. Former at-large City Councilmember Greg Sebourn who lives in D3 was appointed by D2 Councilmember Nick Dunlap. D2 resident John Seminara was appointed by the current Mayor and D4 Councilmember Bruce Whitaker. Another D2 resident, Jody Vallejo was appointed by Councilmember Jesus Silva who represents D3. There was no commission member appointed from D5.
After City Clerk Lucinda Williams administered the oath to the commission members, she directed the election for the commission chair. Seminara nominated Sebourn and Vallejo nominated Jaramillo. Sebourn was elected with votes from himself, Lira, Seminara, and Jaramillo. Vallejo voted for Jaramillo. As Chair, Sebourn directed the election for vice-chair. Jaramillo nominated Vallejo, Lira nominated himself, and Vallejo nominated Jaramillo. Lira was elected as vice-chair with votes from Sebourn, Seminara, and himself while Jaramillo and Vallejo both voted for Jaramillo.
Chair Sebourn ran the election for the two at-large members to be appointed to the commission from the pool of applicants remaining after the direct appointments made by Council. The commission waved the option to interview the applicants and the option to accept additional applications. There was no discussion among commission members regarding the qualifications of the applicants. During public comment, Whitaker’s appointment to the Planning Commission Doug Cox recommended appointing Tony Bushala, who lives in D2.
Lira nominated Bushala, Jaramillo and Vallejo both nominated Ameena Qazi and Mike Rodriguez, and Seminara nominated Shawn Nelson (who has previously served on City Council and as OC Supervisor and lives in D1). Bushala was elected with three votes from Sebourn, Lira, and Seminara without support from Jaramillo or Vallejo. Bushala was in the audience and immediately sat at the dais but was not allowed to participate in the vote for the second appointee. Rodriguez and Qazi were unable to gain enough votes with Sebourn, Lira, and Seminara each voting, “No,” in the roll call votes for each nominee. Nelson was then appointed with three votes from Sebourn, Lira, and Seminara and dissenting votes from Jaramillo and Vallejo. Nelson was attending the meeting remotely via Zoom and was able to be administered the oath along with Bushala; both were able to participate in the remainder of the meeting as commission members.
Following the presentations made by City Attorney Kim Barlow and the City Clerk and hearing comments from the public, Jaramillo requested and the commission unanimously agreed that the community outreach meetings should be informal without the commission presiding. The commissioners also unanimously agreed to Jaramillo’s proposal to expand the number of outreach meetings from two to three.
The outreach meetings, where National Demographics will take input to help define “communities of interest,” will occur in January 2022 following the first of four Public Hearings on December 15, 2021 at 6:30 pm in the City Council Chamber.
The demographer will provide a mapping tool available to the public prior to the December meeting, according to the City Clerk. The minimal process and number of public hearings is established by the FAIR Maps Act. See Section 21600 of the California Elections Code that pertains to general law cities electing members of city council by district.
The deadline for the Council to approve a council district boundary map is April 17, 2022 in order to be ready for the next City Council Election November 8, 2022. Visit Redistrict Fullerton.
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