Fullerton City Council to Look Again at 2018 District Races

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The Fullerton City Council Tuesday will take a second look at its decision to put two new districts up for election next year.

Mayor Bruce Whitaker put the issue back on the council agenda. He said Monday he’s asking the council to reconsider its decision because of the gravity of the issue and public concern.

“I think we need a little more discussion and a clear look at where we stand right now,” he said in a telephone interview. “There still would be time to make a modification, should the council decide to do that.”

City voters in November approved a switch from electing the five council members at-large to electing them by district. The first two district elections will be in 2018.

At the Feb. 21 meeting, the council decided District 2, which stretches across north Fullerton and has a 67.6 percent white voting population, and District 5 in south Fullerton where 44.1 percent of the voters are Latino, would be up for the 2018 vote.  There is no current council member living in District 5 and the member who lives in District 2, Doug Chaffee, has said he won’t seek another term.

The current five council members all were elected at large and none specifically represents one of the new districts.

Although 53 percent of Fullerton voters approved switching to districts, there is ongoing controversy over the way the new boundaries were drawn.

The city of more than 135,000 is 22.8 percent Asian and 34.4 percent Latino, according to the 2010 Census, for a total of 57.2 percent of the population.

Spencer Custodio is a Voice of OC intern. He can be reached at spencercustodio@gmail.com.