With a vote of 4 to 1, the Los Lunas School Board selected option two as the most-balanced redistricting plan at its regular meeting Tuesday night.
According to Francisco Apodaca, senior consultant with Information Strategies, four of the five districts have a higher Hispanic population than before.
“It’s a very balanced districting plan that’s pretty easy to follow. All of the districts are equitable, population wise,” Apodaca said. “This option straightened out former district boundaries and provided a lot of definition to clean up that confusion.”
Board Member Art Castillo voted against the districting plan because, he said, the option split up historic land.
“From the onset, I didn’t care for it. At one of our public hearings, at least two members from the Peralta and Valencia communities voiced their concerns to keep that area together,” Castillo said.
“That is one of the main reasons I did not vote for this option. It did split up that area. This proposal didn’t show any concern for the residents of Peralta and Valencia,” he said. “There wasn’t enough investigation done by the consultant or the five of us on the school board.”
Board President Bob Whorton said the board’s selection keeps most of Los Lunas in a contiguous district.
“Options five and six pushed me into Bosque Farms,” Whorton said. “Los Lunas and Bosque Farms are two distinct communities. Option one divided north Los Lentes, and I don’t think we should be dividing neighborhoods.
“I think it’s the best we could do. Most everyone seemed happy with it,” he said.
According to Apodaca, the districting plan does split a couple of precincts in the area.
Precinct 12 is divided at Sichler Road through Districts 4 and 5, represented by Whorton and Castillo, respectively. Precinct 5 is split at Valencia Road, with Districts 2 and 3 represented by board members Pam Thomas and John Kern, respectively.
One other break-up occurs in Precinct 14, at Hell Canyon Wasteway, a ditch on the east side of the precinct, and Districts 1 and 2, respresented by Nancy Seemann and Thomas, respectively.
The districts were also broken down by population:
- District 1: 8.224
- District 2: 8,454
- District 3: 8,499
- District 4: 7,761
- District 5: 7,926
The breakdown of district precincts is:
- District 1: Precincts 3, 10, 11, portion of 14, 18, 13, 36
- District 2: Precincts 5, 14, portion of 13, 28, 16
- District 3: Precincts 5, 6, 15, 16, 30
- District 4: Precincts 2, 8, 32 38, 7, 19, and a portion of 12
- District 5: Precincts 1, 3, 12, 37, 17, 27, 12