By 5th District Supervisor, Debbie Arnold

It is wonderful to see events and activities resume all over the North County. I really enjoyed getting together with friends again for the 11th annual Atascadero Kiwanis Mayor’s Winemaker Dinner.

I appreciate the organizer’s creativity of separating guests at several smaller venues this year. I joined others for a beautiful evening at O’Malley’s Portola Inn. Every year the Kiwanis raise money at this event to fund worthy projects throughout the city, and I want to thank all who played a part in making this event such a success.

So far, the summer has been a hot one! This is certainly exasperating the drought situation we find ourselves in after a less than normal rainfall year. As reported by Scotty Jalbert, County Office of Emergency Services Director, as of Jun. 28, most of the County is categorized as experiencing extreme drought and is expected to move into the exceptional drought category by fall.

The County has reassembled a Drought Task Force, and the Board of Supervisors proclaimed a local drought emergency on Jul. 13. Throughout the County, the rainfall totals were approximately 50 percent of normal, and reservoir levels are low. The County will be developing plans for outreach to encourage water conservation and provide tips on how best to conserve. Generally speaking, water supplies are sufficient for two years, but conservation starts early to help supplies go further. For more information and tips for conserving water, check out the Board of Supervisors agenda for Jul. 13, item number 39. The staff documents provide a full report.

The Board of Supervisors will be continuing the process of redistricting the district lines within the County on Jul. 20. This is part of a process that happens every ten years after the census is complete. This year the timeline has changed, so the process will not be finalized until late this year. Ordinarily, census information is given to the local governments by Apr. 1, but this year it is not expected until Sept. 24. The current deadline for completing redistricting for the County’s supervisorial districts is Dec. 15. If the deadline is missed, the courts will have the responsibility of drawing the lines. Boundary lines are adjusted every 10 years to take into consideration changes in population.

The County is divided into five supervisorial districts, each required to be similar in population as the other districts. An independent commission is charged with adjusting lines for state assembly and senate districts, as well as Congressional districts in California. All this important work will adjust lines to accommodate population changes, and these changes will be reflected in the elections taking place next year. For more information on the local redistricting process, visit the County Board of Supervisors agenda for Jul. 20, documents for agenda item 25.

I look forward to seeing you at the Mid-State Fair. It is an honor to serve as your 5th District Supervisor.