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August 17, 2017

Community Update by City Manager
Charlie McClendon

Districting Process Has Proven to be Community Driven

The process to create Council election districts in Cathedral City is now in its eighth month.  Since last January, when Council approved a contract with NDC consultants to provide demography services to the City, the public process associated with creating the districts has continued.

Two public hearings were held during April, prior to the time when NDC consultants began working on the draft maps.  The purpose of those public hearings was to receive input from the community on factors residents wanted to have considered as the maps were drawn.

The three original draft maps prepared by NDC were released to the public in June and have been posted on the City website cathedralcity.gov ever since.  In addition, the City offered to the public an on-line map drawing tool provided through NDC to allow residents the opportunity to draw and submit their own district maps for consideration.  Giving the community the opportunity to draw maps is not required by law and many cities do not include the option as part of their districting process.  Your Council wanted to go beyond the minimum requirements of the law to promote public participation so they decided to include the on-line map drawing option to you.  A wide variety of maps were submitted by the public and 19 were unduplicated and determined to meet the minimum legal requirements to be considered.  When combined with the three maps prepared by NDC the result was a total of 22 maps for consideration.

The community also had the opportunity to participate through legally noticed public hearings.  A total of five, counting the two held in April, have been held to date, again exceeding the four required by law, and three additional hearings will be held over the next few weeks.  Public Hearings were held on June 26, July 26 and August 9 and additional public hearings will be held on August 23, September 13 and September 27.  But that’s not the only options for participation that Council provided to the community.  Four of the monthly City Hall at Your Corner meetings were devoted primarily to the topic of districts.  These were held on May 11 at the Sunshine Café, on June 7 at Cardenas Market, on July 18 at City Hall and on August 10 at the Cathedral City Library.  Additionally, numerous email comments from the community have been received and are included as part of the record for the districting process.

Based on the comments from the public, their own analysis of the maps and guidance from the demographic consultants, Council narrowed the field of maps under consideration to seven “semi-finalists” during the July 26 public hearing.  They further narrowed the field to three “finalists” during the August 9 public hearing.

The input received from the community didn’t stop with the selection of the three final maps.  During the August 9 meeting and at the subsequent City Hall at Your Corner meeting comments were provided to Council from Panorama neighborhood residents indicating that their neighborhood should be kept together in a single district.  This echoed comments received from Cove neighborhood residents all throughout the process that they preferred their neighborhood be placed in a single district.  Dream Homes residents also commented that they preferred an option placing their neighborhood in a district with other central Cathedral City neighborhoods rather than with more distant neighborhoods in the far north or far south of the City.

Council heard these comments and asked the NDC consultant to develop a modification of the Purple map, originally prepared by NDC and selected as one of the three finalists, to try to incorporate these community preferences to the extent possible.  The result is the Purple2 map, which is now available for public review on the cathedralcity.gov website or by following this link.

Purple2 map

It is the stated intent of Council to arrive at a consensus on a final map during the public hearing on August 23.  This will allow preparation and proper posting of the ordinance adopting the map to be prepared for first reading on September 13 followed by second reading and adoption on September 27.

The first election to be held using the new districts will occur in 2018 in three districts followed by district elections in the other two districts in 2020.

News

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Councilmember Shelley Kaplan's Video Council Report for August 12, 2017

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Read more.

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Read more.

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2nd Saturdays Art Walk on Perez Road

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Read more.

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Tejano Music Fest

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Families are encouraged...  Read more.

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