Orange County supervisors Monday adopted a new district map that moves many cities into new supervisorial areas and leaves the most recently elected supervisor at risk of being voted out next year.
Supervisor Katrina Foley — a Democrat who was elected in March to finish the term of Rep. Michelle Steel, R-Huntington Beach, when she was elected to Congress — lives in Costa Mesa, which would put in her in the new fifth district.
Former Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach, who Foley defeated, told City News Service it was “unprecedented” that the supervisors flipped district 1 for district 2 in essence.
District 1, which is represented by Supervisor Andrew Do, the board chairman, now includes the cities of Cypress, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Midway City, Rossmoor, Seal Beach and unincorporated Westminster.
District 2, which is represented by Foley, now includes Anaheim, Garden Grove, North Tustin, Orange, Santa Ana and Tustin.
District 3, which is represented by Supervisor Don Wagner, includes Anaheim, Irvine, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Modjeska Canyon, North Tustin, Orange, Rancho Santa Margarita, Silverado, Trabuco Canyon, Tustin, unincorporated Villa Park, Williams Canyon and Yorba Linda.
District 4, which is represented by Supervisor Doug Chaffee, who authored the winning map, includes Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Fullerton, La Habra, Placentia, and Stanton.
District 5, which is represented by Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, who dropped her map in favor of Chaffee’s, includes Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Coto de Caza, Dana Point, Irvine, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Las Flores, Newport Beach, Rancho Mission Viejo, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.
Several residents implored the supervisor to reject another proposed map, authored by Do, because it would have split up Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, including John Wayne Airport. But Wagner said everyone in the county had a vested interested in airport noise.
“You just can’t draw maps that keep the airport and all the communities impacted in one district and do all of the other things we have to do here,” Wagner said. “We can’t keep each city whole. We can’t keep very water district, every school district whole.”
Wagner noted that for years the Placentia-Yorba Linda School District was split between two cities.
“And it hasn’t mattered to them and their operation, and we don’t have any say or jurisdiction over the school districts,” Wagner said. “Having two supervisors attentive to your issue arguably gives you more of a say.”
Supervisors Chaffee, Bartlett and Foley voted for Chaffee’s winning map over Do’s.
Bartlett said she favored Chaffee’s map because it kept most of the south county cities together.
“South County is just different from the rest of the county,” Bartlett said. “The 11 cities down there for the most part are like children who grew up together. They got incorporated around the same time, they share one freeway.”
Do lashed out at his critics, who accused him of playing politics.
“I am extremely troubled by the constant threats I have received and others on the board from numerous sources from governmental, nonprofit and otherwise — constant threats every step of the way before, during and now with our votes — that if we do this we get sued, if we don’t do this we’ll get investigated. And so it’s ironic that the one party that insists on fairness and being apolitical is the party I faced the most threats from,” Do said.
Do said “no map is perfect, I accept that,” but he added that he believed his proposed map was the “most balanced.” He added that he wouldn’t be surprised if party leaders “chastised” his proposed map for not doing more to help Republicans.
Do pointed out that one of the proposed maps was pushed by Democrats to counter another one pushed by Republicans.
“Do not turn what we have done here around and somehow make my process politically motivated,” Do said.
Foley said, “while I would love to serve the communities district 2 will become, and I think I’ll do a great job, that’s not who elected me, and those aren’t where I’m working on initiatives and projects. That’s just not where I ran.”
So Foley asked if the supervisors could continue to work collaboratively with new supervisors on long-term projects, and Bartlett said she “fully agreed” with that.
“That continued collaboration is absolutely essential,” Bartlett said.
The approved map will make District 2 a Latino-majority district with 62.8% of the population of Latino ethnicity. The Asian-influence district will be District 1 with 32.7% of Asian ethnicity. District 3 will include 28.4% Asian voters.