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Demographics could impact the board’s decision

Data+from+http%3A%2F%2Fquickfacts.census.gov%2Fqfd%2Fstates%2F06%2F06081.html
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Demographics could impact the board’s decision

Data from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06081.html

Data from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06081.html

By Sarah Yin/The Skyline View

Data from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06081.html

By Sarah Yin/The Skyline View

By Sarah Yin/The Skyline View

Data from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06081.html

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San Mateo County Community College District is currently considering switching from an “at large” election system to a “by district” system for electing members of the district board. The board has been discussing this issue for the last few months.

The board undertook this course of action out of consideration for voters and to ensure that the needs of the county are met and addressed.

“We’re doing this completely independently of the county board of supervisors (Measure B). We’re looking at it with our own set of eyes and making our own decision about what’s best for the board and the county” said Board President Dave Mandelkern “One of the issues that we have to look at is if it’s better to run the elections (district) for the district board at large or ran it by district where you elect members from individual districts.”

In “at large” elections, which is the current system that is being used, candidates campaign throughout the county. This results in more money spent and the candidates with the highest votes are elected to the district board, in contrast to the “by district” election system where candidates will only be required to campaign within the district that they will seeking to represent.

In addition, the “by district” election system will reduce cost when campaigning and will allow districts with minority groups a chance to be represented and have their concerns expressed by their representative to the district board.

The board has not made a formal decision in regards to whether to adopt “by-district” elections however if they do the board will have to choose a map which is where demographer Michael Wagaman comes into play. Mr. Wagaman will be drawing up the maps which the board will be considering in the future.

In a study session on Oct. 10, Wagaman presented to the board two scenarios called Scenario 1B and Scenario 4A, both detailing the way San Mateo County will be broken up into new districts if the board decides to adopt by-district elections. However before this even be done, the board will be required to submit it to the California Community College Board of Governors to be reviewed and approved.

“The board is giving a 90 day comment period on this topic before deciding at the late January meeting. As a note, the change will not take affect until November of 2015. The decision could be made on the 23rd of Jan. but it is a tentative calender.” wrote Student Trustee Bailey Girard in an email.

President Mandelkern mentioned in the same meeting if the board does agree with the switch, then he would like both the map and the decision to shift to “by district” election adopted at the same time.
The San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers (AFT 1493) will not be doing anything in regards to the district board according to an email from President and Professor Teeka James. However, they are “aware of the Board’s exploration of this issue.”

The next board meeting held on Nov. 14 at 3401 CSM Drive, San Mateo will be considering the proposed scenarios that have been drawn up by demographer Michael Wagaman and if the board agrees they will make it publicly available for the public to comment on the district website.

“We will consider all the comments of the public and our opinions and make two decisions: one, do we want to switch…and two, if we so choose to do so, what is the map of the district going to look like” said President Mandelkern.

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Will Nacouzi, TSV Web Designer

Hey :D I’m a student at Skyline College majoring in journalism with a heavy interest in news writing, investigative journalism, and photojournalism.

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Demographics could impact the board’s decision