Wednesday, August 3, 2011

SJC's political wrestling match continues

Leroy Ornellas, Tracy's rep on the county board of supervisors, condemned the process of redrawing supervisorial district boundaries after the other four supervisors voted in favor of new maps yesterday.

To wit:

Just as state Legislators drew maps to their political benefit 10 years ago, it appears that the temptation to fiddle with district boundaries for political advantage is too strong for some folks to resist. The process of redistricting was intended so that voters could choose their legislators, not so legislators could choose their voters. Carving up districts in such a way so as to enhance your political careers is wrong. It's bad government, and I won't be part of it.

To read why Ornellas was hopping mad, see last week's Second Thoughts column. In short, supervisors were in charge of redistricting, not citizens, and some observers have accused supervisors other than Ornellas of tinkering with the lines behind closed doors and giving the public scant time to review the changes.

His words are about as close as you'll see one person call out colleagues in public on political skullduggery.

Meanwhile, other supervisors, especially Steve Bestolarides, defended both the process and the decision, and said that media reports (including last week's column) were unfair to the supervisors, mischaracterized the process and were baldly inaccurate.

Bestolarides said "political hyperbole" had clouded a process that was agreed to by all supervisors, and said it was a shame that certain rules seemed to apply for four supervisors, while other rules seemed to apply for one. You can guess which man he was talking about.

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