Public Feedback

October 1, 2021 @ 4:26 pm
Topic: Horrible Mapping Tool
By: Frank Gonzalez

Comment:
I work with tech and tech applications for a living. This tools UI is horrible and not intuitive. Second imagine how many people who are not tech fluid or even have a device. Curious on how much of the community in providing input. Carpinteria needs to get back to square one (on boots.). Hand out maps door to door and coordinate a pickup date or drop off location. Is this tool even available in other languages?

September 27, 2021 @ 9:59 am
Topic: Process question on the maps
By: Russell Ruiz

Comment:
Process question on the maps. What is the process from here until January on collecting and then winnowing maps? Will the Committee make a map recommendation? I think you should. What is the expectation about maps at the first formal Council hearing in January? How many maps would you expect to be before Council? Anything else about the map selection process?

September 27, 2021 @ 9:55 am
Topic: Ad Hoc District Elections Committee
By: Russell Ruiz

Comment:
I saw the Facebook post about the League of Cities meeting that Natalia and Wade attended on Celebrate Carpinteria. In my current experience with local Carpinteria social media, Celebrate Carpinteria and Carpinteria Swap seem very popular and active. Maybe we ask John Wullbrandt to let us post something significant on his page about District Elections and then direct people to a new FB page just for District Elections and have Lea Boyd do that professionally. I also think we need to continue to spend money with the Coastal View.

September 26, 2021 @ 8:00 am
Topic: District Elections/Comments for the next Committee meeting
By: Russell Ruiz

Comment:
I attended the Monday 9/20 Workshop and the one on Wednesday. They were well done, thank you. After the Monday Workshop I have played around with DistrictR and the last map I posted is dated 9/26 with my name on it. That is as close as DistrictR would let me get to my hand drawn map. I submitted my hand drawn map at the Wednesday Workshop. I am still not clear what the Consultant will do with the hand drawn maps. I hope we get the same info we get from DistrictR on population and % Latino population. As you will see my DistrictR map and my hand drawn map are very similar. I believe there are only 3 places that I could not draw my boundaries where I wanted them: on the East end of town above the freeway around all the mobilehome parks, it would not let me draw that line where I wanted it; at the corner of Linden and Foothill I placed the Meadow View neighborhood and the high school which apparently has no residents, in the District on the East side of Linden, DistrictR would not let me do that; and on the West end above the freeway by Casa de Las Flores, I could not draw the line where I wanted it.

On my DistrictR map I got pretty close on equalizing populations and I therefor know my hand drawn map needs a lot of tweaking once I get population numbers. You can see in my DistrictR map I had to cross the freeway on the West end and on the area around Linden and Carpinteria Ave. to equalize populations. With my background on the law and my knowledge of our community, I would be willing to argue that my hand drawn map best depicts our City under the guidance and intent of the CVRA. I have to equalize populations but I know I have the “neighborhoods of interest” right. I also have high Latino populations in what I refer to as the West District and the East District.

For reference I call the beachfront District, Beach; the El Carro tract East of Linden the Casitas District; and the District West of Linden, El Carro.

At the last meeting Al asked if we could delete maps that we posted that we do not like. We have not received an answer and I still see Al’s first map that he wanted deleted. I have posted a total of 9 maps and I would like all deleted except for the last one with my name on it. I expect the maps posted without explanation will confuse people who have not followed this as to what those are.

I hope in the Staff Report before the meeting we receive the tally of total Public participants at each of the Workshops. Public Outreach should be a significant issue discussed on the Agenda. I have some ideas on that I would like to share.

These Comments are to the website. I have raised this several times, we need to eliminate the term “Redistricting” from all our material as it just confuses people who are not familiar with local Public Agency matters. We have the County re-districting going on now that is a real big deal locally politically and it is getting a lot of media attention. The SB County Cities that have already implemented District elections are going through their re-districting efforts. We need to clearly distinguish what we are doing from those efforts and the start is to stop using the term “Re-districting” in all of our material. It appears that our Consulatant’s business name may be one of the problems. Look at the website under the About heading. Just edit out the term redistricting everywhere it is found.

For the hand drawn maps, the print at the Workshop was an improvement over printing the map from the website which is impossible to use. On the print available at the Workshop the scale is good but the font on the street names still needs to be much bigger. I fortunately do not need reading glasses but to read the street names on the map I have to use a magnifying glass. Most people won’t bother and will get frustrated and I wonder if that isn’t our Consultant’s goal. They want to move us to use DistrictR which makes their job a lot easier. I think we who live here and are paying for all this should be able to draw our maps as we think they should be.

I am in Communication with the spokesperson for the Prospective Plaintiffs (not Attorney Goodman, their Attorney of record, who will not be involved again unless there is litigation, which we of course hope to avoid). I have informed him of where we are now and what my issues of concern are. They will formally participate before the first Council hearing in January. I expect you will be interested to hear what they have to say about where we are and where we are going . They started this thing.

It will of course be interesting to watch how the District mapping goes but today I believe the only real controversy will be the Order of Elections in ’22, with 3 seats available. I know what my opinion will be based on guidance from the CVRA but we shall see what the Council thinks. I expect a humdinger of a first Council hearing in January when everyone really starts to understand the ramifications of this for current Council Members. Won’t surprise me if you get questions like, “Isn’t there something we can do to manipulate this to give current Council Members a shot at getting re-elected?” I hope it will be someone’s job to say no. After 25 years of doing it I know the hardest job for a Public Agency Counsel or Staff is to say no to your Elected Officials on something as important as this.

I will see you Wednesday.

Russell Ruiz

September 25, 2021 @ 5:42 pm
Topic: “Districting 101” presentation
By: Mike Wondolowski

Comment:
In the Sept 20 workshop, in response to a question I asked, it was stated that the “Districting 101” presentation given to the City Council would be posted on the District Elections web page. I do not see it there. Will it be posted? Or what date was the City Council meeting when it was presented so the public can view that presentation?

Comment: September 27, 2021 @ 1:58 pm

Mike –

Attached are the presentations that have been given to the City Council regarding District Elections. These will be added to what is on the current District Elections website.
https://carpinteriaprojects.com/district-elections/about/district-elections-committee/ (under third tab titled “Presentations”)

All the best,

Olivia Uribe Mutal
City of Carpinteria Program Manager
Emergency Services, Volunteers & Outreach

Comment: October 6, 2021

This is the third time since Sept 20 that I am contacting the city through the website or email asking for follow-up on the promise made in the Sept 20 redistricting workshop. I hope someone can get back to me.

Thanks,
Mike

Comment: October 7, 2021 @ 9:22 am

Mr. Wondolowski

This is a forward of a reply sent to you on Monday, September 27, 2021 1:58 PM to the email address used for your public comment including the attachments that were sent.

This email is also on the public website: https://carpinteriaprojects.com/district-elections/public-feedback/

<forwarding attachment>

Olivia Uribe Mutal
City of Carpinteria Program Manager
Emergency Services, Volunteers & Outreach

September 21, 2021 @ 8:05 am
Topic: District Mapping
By: Russell Ruiz

Comment:
I submitted another map dated today, 9/21. It is not what I will draw by hand but it is pretty close. My high population now is 3101 and my low is 2446. I will submit a hand drawn map probably at tomorrow’s meeting. I still am not clear on what the Consultant is going to do with hand drawn maps but I guess we will learn soon. My new map and Al’s are very similar.

September 20, 2021 @ 7:31 pm
Topic: Monday District Elections meeting
By: Russell Ruiz

Comment:
One more. I mentioned that unlike all other Zoom meetings I have participated in, we could not see who else was participating. How many other Public participants did we have at this meeting besides Mike Wondowlowski and I?

Thank you,
Russell Ruiz

Comment: September 20, 2021 @ 9:31 pm

That was a good presentation. Are the next two just going to be a repeat, which is fine? I am just curious. If so at Wednesdays meeting I will just show up and submit my hand drawn map and I will look forward to what that looks like after our Consultant has addressed it.

Thank you,
Russell Ruiz

Comment: September 20, 2021 @ 9:40 pm

One more thing, I made the bold statement that I believe the 5 maps I submitted will end up very close to what we end up with after all is said and done, but DistrictR would not let me refine it as I would like. If I am wrong about my maps being close to complying with the Law, I would like to know from our Consultant why? That is their job, if I am misunderstanding their interpretation of the Law they need to tell us why.

Thank you,
Russell Ruiz

Comment: September 20, 2021 @ 9:48 pm

Sorry one more. I raised the Hispanic/Latino/Latinix issue. I am old and it does not matter to me. I have to believe that Carpinteria is the only Public Agency in Santa Barbara County that is still using Hispanic. My Dad was a great WWII War hero and we always Identified as American Caucasians. So I don’t care about this issue but it does seem odd to me to use Hispanic in 2021.

Russell Ruiz

Comment: September 21, 2021 @ 8:51 am

Hi Mr. Ruiz –

Thank you for your participation. All the workshops will be the same presentation. The zoom recordings will be posted on the website so that the public can view the presentation and online interaction in its entirety, and who the attendees were.

All the best,

Olivia Uribe Mutal
City of Carpinteria Program Manager
Emergency Services, Volunteers & Outreach

September 16, 2021 @ 2:04 pm
Topic: District Elections
By: Russell Ruiz

Comment:
As this form worked fine here is another one that is followup to my Comment about the Independent article and preserving for the current City Council their discretion where appropriate. When I was working we always had people claiming to know what they were talking about, state that the Board could only do this or that by Law. I felt it was one of my most important roles to preserve for my Elected Board Members and GM the fullest exercise of legal discretion allowed by Law. Here the only legally binding decisions that have been made are: we will have District Elections in November 2022; 3 seats will be up for Election; and we will have 5 Districts. Nothing else! The issue about Presidential vs. Gubenatorial elections is not legally binding and is just one of many issues the Council will consider as it makes these important historic decisions for our City that will most likely never be changed once made. I also am working on developing communication with the “Prospective Plaintiffs” (hereinafter “P.P.) and their attorney. I hate the planning around “Safe Harbors” because of the amorphous supposed 800 lb Gorilla in the room. We do not have any such Gorlilla in Carpinteria. We have two normal longtime Carpinteria residents represented by a Santa Barbara attorney who I have known for over 30 years. Let’s hear what they really have to say about some of these issues and what their plans snd strategies are and what is it that would actually motivate them to sue us?

September 15, 2021 @ 7:34 pm
Topic: District Elections
By: Russell Ruiz

Comment:

“I just submitted Comments on the District Election website for the first time. I see they did not just pop up. Can you tell me the protocol for those Comments? I assume someone is assigned to review them? We can’t publish profanities or other inappropriate content. How does that go? I can communicate directly with the Committee Members and others that I care about if I want to and I want to know how the website Comments work, whether I want to use it again in the future.

Thank you,
Russell

Reply:

From: Brian Barrett
Sent: Thursday, September 16, 2021 8:44 AM

The public comment form submitted through the District Elections website gets forwarded to City staff. Also, the public comments sent to CarpinteriaDistrictElections@ci.carpinteria.ca.us are received by City staff. Both public comments are reviewed by staff to ensure they are not spam and as you said do not have any profanities or inappropriate content, before being posted to the District Elections website for everyone to benefit from.

Brian C. Barrett
Acting City Clerk
City of Carpinteria

September 15, 2021 @ 7:27 pm
Topic: District Elections
By: Russell Ruiz

Comment:

Just by way of Comment on the most recently posted map, in locations it is similar to mine but it is not even close on equalizing populations. My info states that each District should have about 2675 residents and no more than a 10% deviation from one District to another. This map is not even close.

September 15, 2021 @ 7:21 pm
Topic: District Elections
By: Russell Ruiz

Comment:

There is a prominent article in the online Independent today on this. That is great! The more media coverage for this the better. The byline is basically the same as I have been advocating, “Starting in 2022, City Council Representatives will be Elected by District for the First Time in History”. That is the theme we need to get across repeatedly from now until November 2022. This is new and different and please pay attention! Ms. Uribe-Mutal is quoted as stating that the Districts with high Latino population will be scheduled in Presidential election years and the others in Gubernatorial election years. I think it is very important that Ms. Uribe-Mutal be absolutely certain of her statements to the media before she makes them and she should always consult with both our Consultant and our City Attorney before she makes such statements. That “policy” she states is not binding by law. I have also read in highly regarded legal treatises on the subject that with our current election situation with 3 Council seats up for election in 2022, we should have the 2 or 3 Districts with the highest Latino populations up for election at that first District Election. That is the whole purpose of this exercise, get Latinos elected as soon as possible. I am certain that amoung experts, that is the priority consideration, not the Presidential versus Gubernatorial election scenario. We must be very careful to preserve the current Council’s discretion on these issues and not use questionable legal input to constrain, in the Public’s eye, what the Council can and should do. These are serious legal issues that need to be closely vetted before they are disseminated to the Public. I think it would be best for our City’s purposes if only the City Manager and City Attorney, after discussion with the Consultant, be authorized to engage with the media on this subject.

September 13, 2021
Topic: District Elections
By: Russell Ruiz

Comment:

I am not smart enough nor techie enough to figure out DistrictR on my own. What I did primarily for my own info on population, was draw 5 separate maps with one District in each. You will see them on the website, I numbered  them I thru 5. District 1 has 2775 population as the high and 5 only has 2241 as my low. I really can’t determine on my own how much impact DistrictR had to the map I would draw by hand. I am done for now and will wait for the next meeting where I will hope to attend in person and we can see what the Consultant can do with the hand drawn maps. I did notice a problem for me around the East end where all those mobile homes are, it wouldn’t let me draw the line where I wanted it. Hope to see you on the 20th. Any Comments on my maps are welcome.

September 9, 2021
Topic: District Elections
By: Gail Marshall

Comment:

Dave,
As you know I am very interested in district elections for the City.
I have attended each meeting with interest.
After the last meeting I contacted you about the confusion over drawing neighborhoods prior to drawing districts as I felt that process was too confusing.
Not sure where that process is at this moment.
I also noted the importance of understanding that census tracks are not a limiting factor when drawing district lines.
Yesterday I will admit to leaving the meeting after the initial presentation of the mapping tool (having had the same experience as Al) because the mapping program being promoted by the consultant is simply too confusing and actually advancing false information – that you just can’t break the census track and that is just the way it is. This is just wrong.
Carpinteria needs to have the ability to draw districts to our benefit. Once done we live with it for 10 years.
Carpinteria needs to be able to use a tool that allows broad ideas for districts not limited ones. If in the end there is fine tuning – so be it. But we need the opportunity to draw outside the box.
This is very concerning and frustrating.
I would like some feedback on where you feel this process can go within the current programing.
Gail

Reply:

From: Olivia Uribe-Mutal

Hi Gail –

Thank you for your feedback. For compliance with the CVRA and for transparency purposes, it was recommended by the consultant at yesterday’s meeting that any communication received by the city regarding the district election process be posted on the website.

We have received two email communications from you that we will submit the website, and I just wanted to keep you informed.

With regard to your concerns, the Paper-only Placemat Maps that are on the website do not provide any pre-drawn neighborhoods, as we removed them after our August meeting discussion. At yesterday’s meeting, our consultants agreed to provide a memo within 2 weeks to address what census lines (whether that’s tracks  or blocks) we will need to abide by to draw district lines. The meeting recording will be posted on the website, and I would encourage reviewing it, as this item was addressed in detail by Chris Chaffee with Redistricting Partners.

Thanks again, for your involvement.

Olivia Uribe Mutal
City of Carpinteria Program Manager
Emergency Services, Volunteers & Outreach

September 9, 2021
Topic: District Elections
By: Russell Ruiz

Comment:

If this email is received I assume Dave will determine how it should be addressed. I expect we will want the Consultant to take the first crack at it but I have also posed some legal questions and I do not know the protocol for this, whether the Consultant or our Counsel answers those legal questions. I will also note that I have no experience with Census legal issues and one of the reasons for this Memo is that I have never before heard of this issue of “Census blocks” taking precedence over the CVRA in determining where our Election Districts boundaries must be.

The issue was framed at our September 8 Elections Committee meeting where the website was unveiled including our introduction to the DistrictR mapping tool. Al Clark described his frustrating first experience with the mapping tool in that it would not let him draw the map he wanted. It was briefly explained to us that DistrictR is programmed to show “Census blocks” as determining where District boundaries must be. I know you are tired of hearing me talk about my experience but that is part of this issue, I have closely followed the District Election law and implementation since Santa Barbara was sued and implemented District Elections about 8 years ago. I have read the law, every reported California case on the subject, several treatises by California law schools and I have watched all the Santa Barbara County agencies that have implemented District elections since Santa Barbara did  years ago. That includes the Carpinteria Water District. Currently the CUSD, the Goleta Water District, the City of Goleta and others are also doing the same thing we are. Prior to our process, I had never before heard of this Census block issue. That does not mean our Consultant is not correct in advising us, as I currently understand it, that this is not mandatory, but provides a “Safe Harbor” against future challenges. The problem as I understand it is that DistrictR cannot be programmed to ignore the Census block issue. That is the problem that Al Clark was complaining about, it overrides what you want to do.  We can decide to ignore the Census block safe harbor and draw the boundaries where we think they should be but we could not use DistrictR.  I believe drawing our boundaries as we who live here think they should be, is paramount. I also do not believe the District Election proponents would sue us over this issue. Our goal is good faith implementation of the CVRA,  as is theirs,  and I doubt they have heard of this Census block issue either. Unlike other jurisdictions, we do not have expert Elections litigation attorneys looking over our shoulders. I am not afraid of litigation here. Also if I am wrong, we have a lot of time between the mandatory Notice of the proponents threatening us with litigation, and the time that we would actually incur costs of defending a lawsuit. If they threaten us (they won’t)  we can always change before they file and that would be the end of it.

I believe we first need to understand this issue. With all due respect, if Al Clark after all the work he has done on the Elections Committee and I do not understand the issue, I doubt anyone else in Carpinteria does.

In a preliminary explanation the Consultant identifies a US Supreme Court case on the issue. May I please have a citation to that case.

Are there any published treatises on this subject?

Any examples in reported cases of the consequences to a California Public agency that has ignored the Census block issue?

Any examples of California Public agencies that have followed the Census Block approach where that affected where they set  their boundaries,  and that is a matter of record?

I believe the Committee has asked for a Memo explaining the issue including the “Safe harbor” aspects.

I like to use extreme examples sometimes to make my point, here let us assume for discussion, all 5 Council Members and the Carpinteria Public agree where District boundaries should be based on your knowledge of our Community and primarily, demographic data as to where our predominantly Latino  neighborhoods and Communities of Interest are.  Our Consultant is telling us that regardless of that undisputed data that is otherwise,  under the CVRA.  supposed to determine these Election District boundaries, if those Districts do not comply with “Census blocks” the Census blocks prevail and we must split up traditional  Latino Communities of Interest as a result.

That concept is completely foreign to every other discussion of the CVRA I have ever heard where promoting the election of Latino residents and preserving their Communities of Interest is supposed to be the paramount guiding principle. Just ask the authors of the Legislation.

Thank you,

Russell Ruiz

September 9, 2021
Topic: District Elections
By: Al Clark

Comment:

Is this a problem of “Districtr” or do all mapping tools do this?  I am personally not having a problem with this and can come up with a good map (albeit with weird shapes) where all districts are contiguous and with 2 districts where communities of interest have racial majority…but the general public will be quickly frustrated and not use districts

Reply:

From: Dave Durflinger

My understanding from Olivia is that an outcome of your Committee meeting is that Redistricting Partners will be preparing a memo that addresses these questions. We’ll also be able to discuss if there is any constraint on how the DistrictR mapping tool is set up.

Also, just as a reminder, all questions and other communication of this sort we’ll be posting to the website so everyone can benefit from the responses.

Yours,

Dave Durflinger
City Manager

September 8, 2021
Topic: District Elections Committee Today, 9/8/2021: Website Comments
By: Russell Ruiz

Comment:

Brian I realize this is late but I just saw the website and I would appreciate it if  the Consultant, Staff and Committee Members receive this before or at the meeting. There is no urgency that they digest it today.

These are just my quick Comments as I just saw the website. I like the setup on our first page.

I like that you included all the Agenda material for the Committee meetings. You should do the same for Council meetings. Maybe with what is there for the Committee you don’t need past Council Agenda material but I would include everything the Council receives from here on out just like you have for the Committee.

Under “Process/Mapping Tools”, under District R link; it states in part …”residents charged with redrawing Supervisorial District Map…”  I have raised this concern before, any mention of County re-districting here is just going to be terribly confusing for People particularly because we are in fact going through a very politically charged County re-districting now. That will receive lots of local media coverage. The only mention of “Re-districting” here should be to make sure People are not confused and understand that we are not “re-districting” like the County. We are having City Council District Elections for the first time in history. We need to get People’s attention that something new and very different is happening in our City and it is separate from the County process. .

Under Map Your Community; click on the Public Gallery map and I see no definitions as to what Community 1 2 and 3 mean.

I have seen this in many candidate websites lately, have a good easy to use link to County Elections encouraging everyone to register and the deadline to register for the November 2022 Election.

A very short statement about the candidate process. In a very concise way, explain the candidate filing process. When does filing period start? When does it end? What are the basic requirements for a completed valid Candidate filing? When will you know what District you live in and when that election will occur.

That’s it for today.

Thank you,

Russell

September 7, 2021
Topic: Ad Hoc District Elections Committee
By: Russell Ruiz

Comment: I was not able to attend the last Committee meeting, I read the Minutes is it still correct that the website will go live today the 6th (I assume tomorrow the 7th)? I will be very interested in the content of the website and will likely have Comments once it is published. I realize this is politically incorrect but look at my last name and I get to say these things. I understand the effort to translate everything to Spanish but I really question the overall value of that, including the cost. I believe that having grown up on the South Coast and my participation in the Carpinteria Unified School District since our daughter started who is now in 9th grade at the High School, I know our Latino (politically correct rather than Hispanic?) community. I question how many Latinos we have in Carpinteria who are registered voters but cannot speak English? Our goal here is education of voters on a subject that the general population will have difficulty digesting at first; maximize the turnout of registered voters at the 2022 election; and promote as many qualified Candidates as possible. Do we really believe any of those Candidates are not going to be able to speak English? I would be very careful about the subject of the “order of elections”. Theoretically we are supposed to disregard where current Council Members live, draw the maps in due course, number and order the election and see where we land. Helping incumbents get re-elected is not supposed to be part of the deal.

August 26, 2021
Topic: Districts
By: Gail Marshall

Comment:

Good morning aI have been turning districting process over in my mind and have a couple of concerns. I will qualify (or amplify) those concerns by saying this is not my first decennial districting effort so I have some experience with how these things go.

As I stated yesterday, this is a process that, because it only comes up every 10 years, will confuse and concern residents. Anything the City can do to eliminate that confusion should be give priority. It can also become very political so anything the City can do to eliminate opportunities for that should be a priority.

My first big concern are the neighborhood maps. While this may seem a good way to present the process to our community it is going to confuse. Seeing a map like the one shared yesterday or any neighborhood map in general will make residents feel their neighborhood will be their district. This could be very much not be the case. It would be better to just start at the beginning and let the map drawing begin without preconceived ideas. Please give this some thought.

My second concern is that I was left with the impression that census tracts can’t be split and it is my recollection that that is not the case at all unless you are splitting a community of interest like a latinex neighborhood.

I am sure the City’s consultant has years of experience walking agencies through this process and surely have their templates of how it should go. Well and good.
But I am sure they will not be alarmed if the City of Carpinteria has a path that may work better for us.

Thanks for listening.
Gail

August 24, 2021
Topic: Ad Hoc District Elections Committee
By: Russell Ruiz

Comment: In my professional career I tried to encourage better cooperation and coordination between our local Public agencies. In Water, just on the South Coast we have 4, used to be 5 (Goleta, SB, Montecito, Carpinteria and used to be Summerland) separate water utilities that do basically the exact same work, dealing with the same State and Federal agencies and they all use Consultants to do important work. It makes sense to consider consolidating those efforts but after the initial “good idea” it never goes anywhere because at the end of the day, everyone wants to preserve the authority to do it their own way. With that said I do not expect any significant coordination here but I believe it is important that we know about and observe other local agencies doing the same thing we are. This week the School District will formally launch their District Election effort. I had encouraged the School District to use the same consultant as the City but that went nowhere. The Carpinteria Water District has already gone through their District Election process and I do not believe their process helps us at the City. It will be interesting to watch and compare the City’s process and the School District’s as we have Consultants using sometimes different data to evaluate the same areas for the same purposes. Of course the School District is larger than the City but the District encompasses the entire City so it will be interesting to see how that comes out in those common areas.

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