MODESTO -- A proposed redistricting map would adjust the boundaries for Modesto City Council elections.
In the most significant change, the newly annexed Shackelford area of south Modesto would become part of Councilman Dave Geer's district. Geer represents District 2, including the western part of Modesto and the downtown.
The nine-member Citizens Districting Commission recommended the revised map after holding six public meetings from October to January. The City Council has the option of approving or rejecting the plan Tuesday; it is not permitted to alter the map.
Geer said Friday that the proposed boundaries for District 2 make sense. "I have known that it was coming," he said. "It keeps the district from being changed fairly significantly in the northwestern part of the district."
Geer said he talked with Shackelford residents Tuesday at a well-
attended National Night Out party at Shackelford Elementary School. "They are pleased with becoming part of Modesto. They have better response times now that the Modesto Police Department is responsible for the area," the councilman said.
The City Charter requires a revised plan for the six council districts based on population figures in the 2010 census. Last year, the council gave the job of redrawing the map to a districting commission led by retired Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Hugh Rose III.
A revised map approved by the commission in January created a stir. To even out the population numbers for each district, it placed a substantial portion of the La Loma neighborhood in District 2, leaving the rest of La Loma in District 4, represented by Councilman Joe Muratore.
Neighborhood leaders were opposed to dividing La Loma between two districts.
It was one of the two maps favored by the commission, however. Rose's panel developed a second map the one going to the council Tuesday that assumed Modesto would follow through with the Shackelford annexation and kept all of La Loma in District 4.
On Jan. 24, the City Council postponed a decision on the redistricting plan until the Shackelford annexation process was completed. Shackelford and its 1,300 residents were absorbed by the city in June.
The proposed plan includes about 34,000 people in each council district and makes fairly minor changes to Districts 3, 4, 5 and 6. District 1 is unchanged.
Modesto's first council-district elections were held in 2009. Approval of the map will set the boundaries for the 2013 election and council elections through 2021.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2321.