PLACER COUNTY, Calif. — Update:
The Placer County Board of Supervisors voted to approve Hybrid Map 2.0 Option 1 in a unanimous second vote following an initial 2-3 vote against it.
Supervisor Holmes changed his vote in favor of the hybrid map and the other two no votes, Weygandt and Gustafson, joined in to support the majority.
The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a redistricting map, Map A, on November 30th. Since then, local opinion pieces have called the proposed new districts “gerrymandered,” “disastrous,” and even “against the will of the people.”
ABC10 spoke with the supervisors themselves and the vice mayor of Rocklin to see what each thought about the approved map and the blowback.
“Gerrymandering is managing boundaries for a political outcome, either by skewing towards a particular party or a particular interest, and Map A simply does not do that. And they simply cannot find one example of that,” said Placer County Supervisor for District 2, Robert Weygandt.
Weygandt explained why his political future should help put some peoples’ concerns to rest.
“The good news for me as it relates to redistricting is I’ll be retiring at the end of my term, so I don’t have a personal dog in the redistricting fight. But it has gotten too politicized I’m afraid,” Weygandt said.
He explained how things have changed since Map A was first approved.
“During the week since our meeting I had a request from one of my colleagues to have a more flexible agenda item so we could actually revisit our position. So I accommodated that,” Weygandt said.
Jim Holmes, Supervisor for District 3, also gave a preview of Tuesday’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting.
“I suspect that we will revisit the decision. That’s all I can say right now,” Holmes said.
He responded to accusations that the approved map might not even meet Placer County’s or the state’s own criteria.
“I think county counsel goes over those maps. They’ve been sitting in on the redistricting commission meetings. Yeah, they go all over those maps to make sure it complies with California law,” Holmes said.
Supervisor Holmes also admitted he was wrong for influencing the redistricting process.
“I wasn’t in two of the maps and uh…I kind of mishandled it. I should not have done that. I made it about me, and it’s not supposed to be about me. It’s supposed to be what’s good for the county. And so in any map that comes out forward, I’m going to take myself out of my district. So I won’t be in District 3 after December 2024,” Holmes said.
Still, Rocklin Vice Mayor Bill Halldin said the damage was already done.
“He only backed away on the day of the vote. Like so for weeks, it became the center of the debate and the attention and it really was a huge distraction to doing better maps that would have kept communities of interest together and perhaps looked at other options,” Halldin said.
Halldin said Map A came out in October and from that point to Nov. 30, not a single thing changed.
“There was a ton of public input at three different advisory committee meetings, the board of Supervisors meeting, and countless other conversations that went on for weeks and weeks. And not a single house or street was moved after all those conversations,” Halldin said.
He explained what he thinks could come of Tuesday’s county supervisor meeting.
“What I hope... happens tomorrow is -- this is a decision that impacts Placer County for 10 years -- so I would hope that they would think tomorrow about, if nothing else, ways to make the map better,” said Halldin.