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Central Coast City Establishes Districts For Municipal Elections

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A Central Coast city has zeroed in on a map defining boundaries for its move from at-large to district city council elections, but not everyone is happy with the choice.

The Santa Maria City Council Tuesday night chose a map which establishes four council districts for future elections, with the city’s population divided equally between them. The Mayor will continue to be elected through an at-large process.

The council held a number of public hearings, and sorted through 17 potential maps to come up with the plan.  Some testified at Tuesday night's hearing that there were issues with the recommended plan, which ultimately received preliminary approval on a 4-1 vote.

It’s expected to get final approval at the council’s May 16th meeting. The move from at-large, to district elections is in response to a threatened lawsuit by an unsuccessful city council candidate, who claimed the current process violates the California Voting Rights Act.

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. 
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