Doug Johnson of National Demographics Corporation (NDC) will provide a presentation to the City Council which will begin the process of establishing districts for election of City Council members by district beginning in 2016. During his presentation, he will review the data that will be used to develop district options, what criteria the City Council may want to have considered as the districts are developed, and a timeline for public input and adoption of the districts. He will be looking for specific input from the Council on the criteria to be used in developing the three district options NDC will provide.
Districting criteria includes the following legal requirements: equal population within the districts; compliance with the Federal Voting Rights Act; and race cannot be the "predominate factor." The City Council can also choose to direct that other criteria be considered. In other communities, optional criteria has included, but not been limited to, communities of interest; visible features; compact and contiguous districts, avoid pairing of incumbents; and planned population growth.
The City of Visalia will hold City Council elections in even years beginning in 2016. Adoption of district lines is expected to be made by June of 2015 to give potential candidates and the public a full year to become familiar with the districts prior to the 2016 election filing period. Three Council seats will be up for election in 2016, and two in 2018.
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