Stockdale ISD Redistricting Advisory Committee (RAC) Meeting Minutes
September 21, 2011
The following RAC members were present: Johnny Akin, Mauro Monita, David Dunn and Carolyn Martinez. (See the attached copy of the RAC sign-in sheet.)
The following RAC members were not present: Beth Stewart, Rachel Gutierrez and Tommy Dugi.
The following Stockdale ISD staff and consultants were present: Paul Darilek (Superintendent), and Robert (Bob) Russo (legal counsel). No members of the general public were present, although the meeting had been posted in the same manner as a Board meeting.
Topics and Information Presented/Discussed:
Mr. Russo presented the legal requirements and discussed the reasons for redistricting single member districts (SMDs), and the reasons for selecting a RAC. Mr. Russo also presented demographic information from the 2000 and 2010 census data, addressing the population growth and changes experienced by the District, including the changes in minority populations and voting age populations. Mr. Russo went on to present the proposed plan for redrawing the SMD lines prepared by the demographer, Ms. Leslie Johnston, labeled Draft SMD Plan 7-A. Included in the information provided to the RAC members were maps of the current SMDs as well as demographic information showing comparisons between the current SMDs and the proposed plan. Mr. Russo indicated that the proposed plan was designed by Ms. Johnston to make the fewest changes possible to the current SMD boundaries while following the redistricting guidelines that had been provided to the RAC members. Members of the Committee asked clarifying questions and offered personal observations and insights into the changes made by the proposed plan prepared by Ms. Johnston. The general consensus of the Committee was that the Stockdale community really did look at who would be the best candidate for the Board, irrespective of race or color. In support of that viewpoint, it was pointed out that the Board member representing SMD 7 is Hispanic, while SMD 7, under the current redistricting plan, had a Hispanic population that was only 28.3% of the total population. Likewise, the Board member representing SMD 6 is an Anglo, yet was elected in a SMD that was 61.8% Hispanic. The only concern raised was the fact that the proposed plan has one Board member (Mr. Rick Rutland) who would be moved into SMD 4, from SMD 2, which he represents. While the RAC members knew he remains eligible to run for SMD 2 no matter where he lives in the District, and did not believe it would be of concern to Mr. Rutland, they did want to obtain Mr. Rutland’s feed-back on the proposed plan before finalizing their recommendation to the Board. Each member of the RAC was then asked one by one to share his or her personal view on the proposed plan and to recommend any possible changes they thought might be appropriate and improve upon the plan prepared by Ms. Johnston. All four RAC members in attendance indicated they liked SMD Plan 7-A and would be willing to recommend it to the Board, subject to confirmation of the belief that Board member Rutland would not have a problem with being moved into a different SMD.
Decisions regarding future meetings and additional information/request needed: It was decided that the packets presented to and reviewed by the RAC members at the meeting would be provided to the members who were not present, for their review and comment, with Mr. Russo being available for a conference call with them if any of them had any questions or wanted more information. In addition, the Superintendent will contact Board member Rutland to find out if he has any concerns about being moved out of SMD 2 into SMD 4. If no concerns are raised by either the other RAC members or Mr. Rutland to SMD Plan 7-A, Mr. Russo will prepare the recommendation to the Board for review and signature by the RAC members, with the tentative plan being to present the recommendation at the Board meeting scheduled for October 11, 2011. (Mr. Russo indicated that he would be in another school district on that date, but that attorney Tony Resendez would be able to attend that meeting and present the recommendation to the Board.) At the end of the meeting, the RAC selected Ms. Carolyn Martinez to serve as the Committee’s Chairperson.