Yucca Valley, Ca.-The issue of “Voting-at-Large vs. Voting Districts” will be examined in this post especially with the Town Council election around the corner. One commenter to this blog wrote….”Experience, knowledge and education is not enough. If this is his campaign platform, it’s not enough….”
The other two candidates live on the same block as the current four sitting councilmen and have not attended any council meetings or contributed their comments about town business. While they are nice persons, they do not bring any experience, knowledge or education to the table. I will compare the candidate’s willingness to serve on the council in a follow-up story.
There are four existing Council members living in the Sky Harbor neighborhood, two living on the same street. Where is the diversity?
Among other attributes, Bob Leone would bring diversity to the dais because he lives at the west end of town and worships elsewhere. Key word: Diversity.
The voting districts would remove all the present members of the council because due to their residency, they all would be in District Yucca2 in the map provided in this post. Under this scenario, they would all have to run against each other, and the other two candidates, to compete for one seat.
Let’s take a closer look at Voting Districts for Yucca Valley:
Based on the recent population numbers of 20,700 for the Town of Yucca Valley from the recent census, the Voting District map could be divided into five sections. Remember, all four of our current Town Council members live in Yucca2, which includes the Sky Harbor residential neighborhood where they live.
According to a recent economic study, the average income for Sky Harbor Yucca2 district is $58,000.00 per year, compared to $24,000-$25,000 for the rest of Yucca Valley.
Most of this rural town is low-income and as predicted by the previous town manager, Andy Takata, the recent census confirmed a lower average income. According to the District map provided, Yucca5 district includes Paradise Valley with the lowest income.
Is it a crime to live in Sky Harbor Yucca2 District? No, but where is the representation for the entire town when ALL the Town Council members live in the same District? With memberships in the same service clubs, socializing and worshiping in the same circles, this council is completely out of touch with the average citizen and creates situations for Brown Act violations.
With Voting Districts the needs of all citizens and businesses would be addressed if they had representation. One citizen could be elected as Mayor and the citizens would elect one council member from each district. Last August 2012, Bob Leone confirmed to me in a telephone conversation he would run for Mayor-at-large if Yucca Valley had voting districts.
This map has an accuracy factor of 0.002% and was drawn up by a cartographer who worked on the San Bernardino County redistricting using Yucca Valley’s new census information.
For all the reasons listed above, and there are more, I am urging our citizens to vote for Bob Leone…… Experience and Diversity.
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