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Independent Commission Appointed To Oversee Redistricting In South Coast City

Panel will oversee the adjustment of the boundaries of the city's six city council districts.

A South Coast city has set up an independent redistricting commission to oversee the adjustment of the boundaries of its six city council districts based on census data.

The Santa Barbara City Council approved a three person panel made up of retired judges. To avoid a conflict of interest, the panelists don’t live in the city, or in Santa Barbara County.

Former Ventura County Superior Court Judge Melinda Johnson will chair the commission. Former Los Angeles County Superior Court Judges Abraham Khan and Elizabeth Allen White are the other two commissioners.

The city is expected to get census data this fall, and will have hearings to get community input on redistricting proposals. Many cities on the Central and South Coasts have moved from at-large, to district elections to try to improve minority representation on city councils.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.