Redistrict deadline met, but new issue arises
The Glenn County Board of Education will make the March 1 redistricting deadline based on 2010 Census data, but the legal descriptions of the new areas might not match the school districts' boundaries on file with the county.
The board voted 4-1 on Friday to adopt the final version of five new trustee areas — now named A, B, C, D and E.
The five areas will no longer be named after a high school district, as they have been for nearly 50 years, school officials said.
Hamilton City Trustee Gail Zimmerman dissented.
Board Chairman Judy Holzapfel said the difficult redistricting process, although final, left some concern regarding the legal descriptions of the school district boundaries.
"It's going to be up to the county Board of Supervisors to fix it," she said. "We have to use the legal descriptions."
The problem area is in the new Trustee Area E, where the legal boundaries around Capay do not match Capay Elementary School District's definition on file with the county, she said.
Under the legal boundary, nine Glenn County voters with three children in Capay Elementary School District should be in the Orland Unified School District.
The discrepancy is a huge concern for Capay Principal Jim Scribner, who has followed the redistricting process closely for months.
"Some of these families have been part of the Capay district for 50 years," Scribner said. "I'm not sure what I'm going to tell them."
Glenn County Superintendent of Schools Tracey Quarne said Capay school district's defined boundary was possibly adjusted decades ago to accommodate people when they moved into the area.
Changes may have occurred by redrawing a bus route to pick up students whose parents wanted them to go to a particular school.
"In this case, the legal description doesn't match the map on the counter at the school," he said.
Quarne said school officials made a change in practice without ever changing the legal descriptions, and that a problem like this could have been avoided if the Board of Education had looked at redistricting in the past 45 years.
The law requires boundaries be adjusted to voting population every 10 years, he said.
The board said Friday it will now be up to the Board of Supervisors, which maintains the descriptions of the school district boundaries, to make sure its descriptions on file match those of the Office of Education.
The new Trustee Area E will also include the 490 people previously eligible to vote in the Capay Elementary School District election, but only for a trustee on the Tehama County Board of Education.
Voting in both the Glenn County and Tehama County elections violates Tehama County's Charter, but the Glenn County board's attorney Ben Hance said the issue was Tehama County's problem.
"The education code prevails in this case," said Hance. "These people are to be included, and they are eligible to vote in Glenn County's election."
Zimmerman wanted to go to a seven-member Board of Education, so the voters in Hamilton City could select a representative after his term expires at the end of this year.
"I'm for voters' rights, but Hamilton City won't get to vote for two years after I am off the board," Zimmerman said.
The area, however, will not be without a representative, Holzapfel insisted.
Under the new boundaries, Kathy Perez of Princeton will represent Trustee Area C until her term expires in 2014.
"We, as members of the board, represent the entire county," Perez said. "We do not represent a school district."
Holzapfel said it was a slap in the face to suggest members of the board couldn't represent 5,900 people.
"Orange County is a five-member board and each represent about 300,000 people," she said.
The five new trustee areas closely resemble the Board of Supervisors districts, except for the inclusion of a small portion of Colusa and Tehama counties that belong to joint unified school districts.
Those include Capay, Princeton and Stony Creek, which includes Stonyford in Colusa County.