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The 10th Redistricting Map is the Charm

Capistrano Unified trustees finally settle on a map that redraws the boundary lines for the trustee areas. A number of cities are sliced in two and even three.

It took them 10 maps, but ’s trustees finally decided on how to carve up the expansive school district’s trustee areas.

Map “J” will come back at the next meeting for a final vote, but trustees voted 4-3 Wednesday night to approve a map that divides San Juan Capistrano and Laguna Niguel in three, Mission Viejo, Dana Point and San Clemente in two and keeps intact the cities of Aliso Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita. Trustees Ellen Addonizio, Lynn Hatton and Sue Palazzo were opposed.

The new trustee boundary lines also keep Ladera Ranch whole and groups it with the other two larger unincorporated areas, Las Flores and Codo de Caza.

Trustees have been discussing . They said they wanted to keep cities whole if possible – for example, San Juan is currently divided among four trustees – and respect high school attendance boundaries while being mindful of “communities of interest,” groups of people that identify with each other for any number of reasons.

In the end, the map they chose doesn’t entirely accomplish those goals.

For Anna Bryson, it was about making sure Laguna Niguel’s trustee area included Dana Hills High, which is in Dana Point. Map “J” was the only plan that met her ideal. Any other arrangement would be “bitterly unfair,” she said.

But Trustees Lynn Hatton and Ellen Addonizio said they could make the very same arguments about Mission Viejo, which is now split in two. Half of Mission Viejo is in a trustee area that doesn’t include the high school where most of the students attend.

After the board’s Jan. 9 meeting, trustees directed the district’s consultant, National Demographics of Glendale, to come up with a map that kept Mission Viejo whole. Only one map, Map “H,” managed that feat. That's the map Hatton, Addonizio and Palazzo favored.

“it’s really kind of choosing the lesser of two evils,” Hatton said.

“No plan here is going to be perfect,” Trustee John Alpay said.

The trustee areas, adjusted every 10 years following the , take on additional significance this go-around. Starting in this November’s election, voters will only be able to cast their vote for one trustee, the one to represent their area. Voters did away with at-large voting when they passed in the November 2010 election.

Pam Sunderman January 28, 2012 at 04:13 AM
My point is, always has been, and always will be that politics is the last thing that should drive a school board decision. The school board is a non partisan body for a reason. It is difficult for some to think beyond politics but it is the right thing to do. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and Libertarians all benefit from successful schools. But they do not state their party when running for school board. There's a reason for that. If you have a problem with unions you need to take it up with the state. And you also need to look into the many contributions and advocacies for students that have come from teachers and their associations.
shelly January 29, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Capo parent, Please go back and read some of your posts.
Penny Arévalo January 29, 2012 at 04:34 PM
I did not know Addonizio and Palazzo were put in the same district. No one mentioned that at the school board meeting, and I don't know where they live. This was an interesting process. One of the first stated goals was to not dice up San Juan Capistrano so much (it's currently shared by four trustees), to try to keep cities whole when possible, be mindful of communities of interest, follow high school boundaries and have the districts look more compact. Then they choose one that divides San Juan (a city of only 35,000, so it's not like San Clemente and Laguna Niguel which are too big for one single district) into threes and also divides many other cities. The communities of interest that were most addressed were Ladera Ranch (keeping it whole and with Coto and Las Flores despite the kids going to different high schools), Laguna Niguel and Capistrano Beach. The areas where families live in one trustee's area but go to high school in another trustee's district include Capo Beach, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita.
Pam Sunderman January 29, 2012 at 04:51 PM
If the is indeed the case, I have to say I'm a little surprised that Ms. Addonizio and Ms. Palazzo have had nothing to say about it.
lyn February 18, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Our high school (CVHS) is NOT in our boundary area for Map J. (I didn't look at other areas, so I don't know if other high schools have the same thing happen.) A couple of years ago, there was a push to get the trustee elections limited to just voting on the one trustee for your area. Wouldn't we be unrepresented then? Seems like this is a strategy to prevent the single area trustee elections from ever happening.

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