Cathedral City Examines the Move towards District Elections by November 2018
On November 8, 2016, voters of Cathedral City approved Measure HH adopting a Charter for city governance. The City’s charter committed the City to change how it elects its city council members from “at large” to “by districts” no later than November 2022 or when the City’s population reaches 65,000. This was in step with a new California law, effective January 1, 2016, which permits cities with less than 100,000 people to vote by districts rather than at large.
On January 11, 2017, the City Council hired National Demographics Corporation to commence the process of establishing Council districts in accordance to the Charter. However, the City received a letter from the law firm of Shenkman and Hughes, apparently unaware that Cathedral City had already started the process, on February 7, 2017 threatening litigation if its elections did not change to districts for City Council.
In an effort to speed up district elections and avoid a costly lawsuit of which no city in California has ever won, the City Council will begin the process of establishing district elections for members of the city council for the next election, scheduled for November 2018. District elections will divide Cathedral City into five districts where voters in that district will choose only one councilmember to represent them on the City Council.
During the process of drawing districts, the public will be able to provide input and the National Demographic Corporation will offer an online district drawing map where members of the public can sketch district boundaries for themselves and make recommendations to the Council.
For more information including a tentative timeline of adopting district elections, go to https://goo.gl/WW7zMq.