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Central Coast leaders share concerns over ‘absurd and mindboggling’ redistricting boundary draft

California Gov.

GONZALES, Calif. (KION-TV) -- San Benito and Monterey County leaders expressed disappointment over a current draft from the California Citizens Redistricting Commission that shows many portions of the counties split between each other.

As the redistricting draft lines stand, parts of South Monterey County that are normally in the same congressional district, would be split. Soledad in particular would be removed from being in the same district as its Salinas Valley neighbors.

"We take objection to the current lines, specifically to Soledad being excluded from Salinas Valley Communities," said Soledad Mayor Anna Velazquez.

San Benito County representatives said they wrote a formal letter of disagreement to the redistricting commission regarding the recent draft.

Adding that there's been "50 years of history" between Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties being in the same congressional district.

Their concerns are also extended to state Senate and Assembly districts as well.

They also are concerned the district lines drawn up now will prevent San Benito County from being properly represented by a state official who they say would cater to people in San Jose more. This as parts of San Jose in the recent draft would share a representative with San Benito County.

"All of us have worked together for years strengthening our voice, creating great relationships with our government officials," said King City Mayor Mike LeBarre. "The maps they have up now will tear that apart."

Mayor LeBarre was passionate about this issue to the point of expressing his concern using an expletive, adding that he's not hopeful the redistricting commission will change its mind about these boundaries and that he's "very very pissed off about what the redistricting commission is doing."

Supervisor Chris Lopez pointed out another concern with the map regarding the agriculture industry. He says the draft boundaries would split the industry in half.

"The carving up of our district is absurd and mind-boggling," said Greenfield Mayor Lance Walker.

The redistricting commission still has time to receive public input and finalize its boundaries. The deadline to do so is December 27, 2021.

For a timeline of public input and the release of boundary drafts, click here

For a detailed look at how the recent state boundary draft looks now compared to what it is currently, click here for an interactive map

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Victor Guzman

Victor Guzman is the Assistant News Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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