City Council Members By-District Election
District Elections Overview
On July 19, 2016 the City Council voted to adopt resolutions to place a measure on the November 2016 ballot asking voters whether Placentia should amend its current "at large" system for electing officials to a "by-district" system.
Should the measure be approved by voters, the City will retain a consultant to prepare maps with five boundaries for proposed districts based on technical data and community input. These maps would be reviewed and approved by the City Council during a public hearing process. Each of the newly developed districts will be represented by a single Council Member living within that district chosen by the voters of that district.
This website page includes background information and will be updated with links to notices for public meetings, agenda reports and other supporting documents. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Rosanna Ramirez in the City Clerk's Office at (714) 993-8231.
- The City received a demand letter dated December 11, 2015 from the Mexican American Legal Defense Education Fund (MALDEF) alleging the City's "at large" system of electing City Council members violates the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) and must be converted to afford Latino voters an equal opportunity to elect City Council members.
- The demand letter threatened a lawsuit if the City did not comply with MALDEF's demands. After evaluating the merits of the letter with the City Attorney's Office and analyzing other cities' losses under similar threats, the City entered into a settlement agreement with MALDEF in February 2016, which was subsequently amended.
- One intent of the settlement agreement is to create at least one district in which Latinos constitute a majority of the citizen voting age population.
- Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the City will place a measure on the November 2016 ballot that will ask voters whether Placentia should amend its current "at large" system for electing officials to a "by-district" system.
- The City could be exposed to financial liability for not complying with the California Voting Rights Act if the ballot measure fails in November 2016. Therefore, the settlement agreement includes a provision that would place the measure on the November 2018 ballot if it fails in November 2016.
- A number of other cities have been dealing with the same demands to move to district voting, including Fullerton, Garden Grove and Costa Mesa. Many of these cities have entered into similar settlement agreements.
- If the measure is adopted by voters, the City will contract with a demographer to design one or more electoral maps. The map boundaries would result in nearly equal districts based on population and be designed to respect the geographic integrity of neighborhoods and any community interest, including racial, ethnic and language minorities.
- The process of developing the electoral district maps will include a minimum of two public hearings on a proposal to establish the district boundaries prior to a public hearing at which time the City Council would vote to approve the electoral district map.
- A community participation plan will be developed. It will include opportunities for the public to meet with the demographer hired by the city to provide direct input on boundary lines
- If the measure is adopted in November 2016, then by May 1, 2018 Placentia shall approve and adopt one of the final district map plans.
- If the measure is adopted in November 2018, then by May 1 2020, Placentia shall approve and adopt one of the final district map plans.
- The following question will be placed on the November 2016 ballot for the City of Placentia voters:
|Shall Ordinance Number O-2016-05 be approved to amend the City Charter to require the City Council to establish five equal, geographically based districts from which council members will be elected by residents of those districts to serve four year terms?||YES|
Schedule of Key Dates
|If Ballot Measure Approved by Voters||Deadline for Council to Approve Final District Map||By-District Elections Implemented|
|November 2016||May 1, 2018||November 2018|
|November 2018||May 2, 2020||November 2020|