The current at-large election model with seven trustees representing four designated geographical areas will become a by-trustee model with seven trustees and seven designated area districts. Each trustee must live in his/her designated district and can be elected only by voters residing in that district. Previously elections were held at-large and voters could vote for trustees in all four areas, regardless of where they live.
The change is being made to create districts of approximately equal voting population size and to avoid potential violation of the California Voting Rights Act.
Last fall, the Board discussed and reviewed in open meetings several options drawn up earlier by Redistricting Partners, a Sacramento consulting group. The election dates for 2012 and 2014 were established so that all trustees will be allowed to complete their entire four-year terms before running for re-election.
The Board’s decision to convert to a by-trustee-area election system will be forwarded to the California Community College Board of Governors for review and approval. The final step is submission to the Elections Division of the County of Santa Barbara’s Office of the County Clerk, Recorder and Assessor Registrar of Voters. The new by-trustee district model will be put into place and used for the first time in the November 2012 election.
For further background, information, and a map, please go to the SBCC Web site.