The entire Lodi area will remain in Ken Vogel's supervisorial district, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors determined Tuesday.
The board approved a map that will keep Lodi in Vogel's District 4 and remove a portion of north Stockton from Vogel's district.
Political consultant Don Parsons presented the board with a proposal Tuesday that would have transferred the Lodi city limits, Woodbridge, Thornton and rural areas west of Lodi into District 3, represented by Steve Bestolarides of Stockton. Vogel would have retained Acampo, Victor, Lockeford and Clements under Parsons' plans. But Vogel would have gotten Manteca for the first time.
Ripon was added to Vogel's district, which includes Lodi and eastern rural communities like Lockeford, Linden and Escalon. The city of Ripon opposed the move, with a city councilman saying that Ripon has more in common with south county communities like Manteca and Tracy.
Meanwhile, District 5 Supervisor Leroy Ornellas, a Tracy dairy farmer, criticized the process in which the Board of Supervisors adopted the maps.
Board members didn't comment on Parsons' proposal, and Lodi residents didn't attend the meeting to comment on whether the city should remain in Vogel's district or move to Bestolarides'.
The board adopted a map, based on 2010 Census figures, upon the objection of Ripon City Councilman Chuck Winn, who requested that Ripon remain in District 5, currently represented by Ornellas.
"The issues in the south county are certainly different than those in the north county (and District 4)," Winn told the board.
Winn said that no public hearings on supervisor district proposals were held in southern San Joaquin County. He suggested that a vote by supervisors be postponed until a hearing could be held in the south county.
Supervisors responded to Ornellas' allegations that changes were made to the district maps that weren't available at community meetings on June 15 in south Stockton and the following night at Micke Grove Park in south Lodi.
"I'm concerned about the maps constantly changing," Ornellas told his board colleagues. "I ask that we slow this down and put it out to a public committee, and get it out of (supervisors') hands."
The board previously appointed Vogel and board chairman Larry Ruhstaller to draw proposed redistricting maps for the entire five-member board to consider.
"I thought that thing was done very calmly and straightforward," Ruhstaller said after Tuesday's meeting adjourned. "There were several times that little things needed tweaking, but there was no political engineering of this thing."
Meanwhile, Ornellas accused his colleagues of creating supervisor districts to their own advantage.
"The process of redistricting was intended so that voters could choose their legislators, not so legislators could choose their voters," Ornellas said after the vote. "Carving up districts in such a way so as to enhance your political careers is wrong, and I won't be a part of it."
Bestolarides said after the meeting that he didn't return a call from the News-Sentinel last week because he opposes Ornellas' political "hyperbole" and didn't want to discuss his accusations publicly.
Supervisor Carlos Villapudua said shortly before the vote was taken that he wants to get the issue behind them and move forward.
Ruhstaller added after the meeting that with an open seat in District 5 coming up in 2012, plus Bestolarides and Villapudua facing re-election that year, he wanted to get the boundaries established as soon as possible so that potential candidates know where they stand. Ornellas will be termed out after the 2012 election.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.