District Election Evaluation Process

District Election Evaluation Process

The Irvine Ranch Water District Board of Directors has undertaken a yearlong public process to evaluate moving from an at-large election process to division-based elections. The process began with the Board's adoption of a resolution titled “Intent to Initiate the Process of Establishing Divisions and Elections by Divisions” which was formally adopted by the IRWD Board on April 2, 2018. Since that time, IRWD has held two workshops, six public hearings and a multi-month public comment period to accept public comment of the possible move to division-based elections, proposed division boundaries and the sequence of elections.

On April 8, 2019, after the twelve-month evaluation process, the IRWD Board of Directors voted to hold a public hearing on May 13, 2019, to consider final action on a transition to division-based elections, and to consider adoption of a final map of division boundaries and a sequence of elections.  The final division boundary map being considered for final action is:

To help the community better understand the proposed divisions and which division each village is located in, the map includes a second reference map that has an overlay of the villages located in each division.

At its hearing on May 13, 2019, the Board of Directors will also consider taking final action of the sequence of elections. The sequence of elections will be staggered. The following are the sequence and division numbering that the Board may consider adopting:

  • Original Numbering Sequence:
    2020: Two divisions up for election: Divisions 1 and 4
    2022: Three divisions up for election; Divisions 2, 3, and 5
  • Odds/Evens Numbering Sequence:
    2020: Two divisions up for election: Divisions 2 and 4 (Evens)
    2022: Three divisions up for election; Divisions 1, 3, and 5 (Odds)
Elections Process

IRWD currently uses an at-large method to elect the members of its Board of Directors. The at-large method allows voters from the entire service area to elect each of the five members of the Board of Directors. A by-division method divides a service area into separate divisions and allows the voters in each division to elect a member of the Board of Directors. Since the enactment of the California Voting Rights Act in 2001, many local governments have gone through a similar public process to evaluate moving to division-based elections.

Strong Record of Community Outreach

The IRWD Board of Directors has a strong record of maximizing participation in District affairs by all of our customers. From landscaping and water use efficiency classes to free in-home water-use audits, bilingual programs and websites, IRWD offers meaningful programs and services that provide value to all of our customers. IRWD's comprehensive customer service programs, in conjunction with water and sewer rates that are the lowest in the area, help all area residents, especially those of limited means. Our customers have responded by giving the District a customer satisfaction rating that is consistently over 95%.

Public Process

IRWD has been and remains committed to undertaking a meaningful public process that allows for full public participation, public input, and careful consideration of a transition to by-division elections. We continue to keep our customers informed on this issue. Please continue to check this webpage for updates.

Draft Division Area Maps

The District invited the public to submit comments on the composition of possible divisions and to submit conceptual maps. That public comment period ran from August 15 to October 15, 2018. The comments and maps received during that time, can be viewed below:

After the close of the public comment period, additional draft division maps were drawn considering the public comments submitted, legal requirements, and the criteria discussed by the IRWD Board of Directors on August 13, 2018. The draft maps considered include the two maps submitted by the public and nine maps created by a professional demographer using the criteria discussed by the IRWD Board of Directors and legal requirements. 
 

All of the draft maps previously considered are available via the links in the library below. The IRWD Board of Directors will consider final adoption of Map E-2 on May 13, 2019.

Pursuant to Elections Code section 10010, the IRWD Board of Directors conducted more than two public hearings to solicit public comment on the draft division maps and on the potential sequence of elections for the directors from each division to provide for staggered terms of office.

The IRWD Board of Directors held the first public hearing on December 10, 2018, at 5:00 pm. The Board of Directors held a second, third and fourth public hearing on January 14, 2019, March 11, 2019, and April 8, 2019, respectively. At the April 8 public hearing, the IRWD Board of Directors voted to hold a public hearing on May 13, 2019, to consider final action on a transition to division-based elections, and to consider adoption of a final map of division boundaries and a sequence of elections.

 

To submit questions or comments on the draft maps, please email comments@irwd.com or call 949-453-5312

Next Steps

May 13, 2019
Public Hearing to Consider Final Action to a Transition to By-Division Elections and to Consider Adoption of a Final Map of Division Boundaries and a Sequence of Elections
5:00pm
IRWD Board Room
15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618
Notice of Public Hearing - English
Notice of Public Hearing - Spanish
Notice of Public Hearing - Farsi
Notice of Public Hearing - Korean
Notice of Public Hearing - Chinese

April 8, 2019
Public Hearing to Accept Comments on the Composition of Division, Draft Division Area Maps and the Sequence of Elections
5:00pm
IRWD Board Room
15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618
Notice of Public Hearing - English
Notice of Public Hearing - Spanish
Notice of Public Hearing - Farsi
Notice of Public Hearing - Korean
Notice of Public Hearing - Chinese

March 11, 2019
Public Hearing to Accept Comments on the Composition of  Division, Draft Division Area Maps and the Sequence of Elections
5:00pm
IRWD Board Room
15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618
Notice of Public Hearing - English
Notice of Public Hearing - Spanish
Notice of Public Hearing - Farsi
Notice of Public Hearing - Korean
Notice of Public Hearing - Chinese 

January 14, 2019
Public Hearing to Accept Comments on the Composition of Division, Draft Division Area Maps and the Sequence of Elections
5:00pm
IRWD Board Room
15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618

Notice of Public Hearing - English 

Notice of Public Hearing - Spanish 

Notice of Public Hearing - Farsi 

Notice of Public Hearing - Korean 

Notice of Public Hearing - Chinese 

 

December 10, 2018
Public Hearing to Accept Comments on the Composition of Divisions, Draft Division Area Maps and the Sequence of Elections
5:00 pm
IRWD Board Room
15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618

Notice of Public Hearing - English 

Notice of Public Hearing - Spanish

Notice of Public Hearing - Farsi 

Notice of Public Hearing - Korean 

Notice of Public Hearing - Chinese 

 

August 15 - October 15, 2018
Public Comment and Map Submission Period

A subsequent phase of the process to evaluate moving to division-based elections includes the creation of potential division area maps. The potential division area maps will be made available to the public on the District website. The District will then hold at least two additional public hearings in order to receive community feedback on those maps.


Prior to the drawing of potential division area maps, the District invites the public to submit additional comments on the composition of possible divisions and to submit conceptual maps for consideration as the potential division area maps are drawn. The deadline to submit these additional comments and conceptual maps is October 15, 2018, at 5:00 p.m.

How to Submit Comments and Conceptual Maps

Any comments or maps you submit regarding the districting process, including ideas about creating director divisions or proposed division boundaries, will be reviewed in their entirety.  There are three different ways you can submit comments and conceptual maps:

  • Submit comments using the Division Idea and Comment Form

  • Submit a hand drawn conceptual map using the Plan Proposal Submission Map

  • Submit a division scenario using the District Plan Proposal Assignment Excel file.

Below are links to instructions on how to submit comments and maps using any of the options listed above, along with the documents you will need.

If you would like the comment instructions and related documents in another language, please email comments@irwd.com or call 949-453-5312 to request translation of the instructions and related documents.

 

August 13, 2018
Board Workshop on Criteria to be Used When Drawing Proposed Division Boundaries and How the Public Can Submit Conceptual Maps
5:00pm
IRWD Board Room
15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618

June 18, 2018
Public Hearing to Accept Comments on the Composition of Divisions and the Sequence of Elections
5:00pm
IRWD Board Room
15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618
Notice of Public Hearing - Spanish 
Notice of Public Hearing - Farsi  
Notice of Public Hearing - Korean
Notice of Public Hearing - Chinese

June 4, 2018
Public Hearing to Accept Comments on the Composition of Divisions and the Sequence of Elections
5:00pm
IRWD Board Room
15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618

May 14, 2018
Board Workshop on Population Characteristics of IRWD’s Service Area
5:00pm
IRWD Board Room
15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Have division areas been decided or has a decision been made about moving from an at-large election process to a division-based election process?

IRWD has only initiated an evaluation of moving from an at-large election process to division-based elections. No division areas have been decided. The District wants to hear from the public about the proposed change in election process and division areas before a final decision is made.  Information on upcoming opportunities for the public to participate in the evaluation process are listed under the “Upcoming Opportunities for Public Participation” tab above.

 

What is an at-large method of election and how does it differ from a by-division method of election?

IRWD uses an at-large method to elect the members of its Board of Directors. The at-large method allows voters from the entire service area to elect each of the five members of the Board of Directors. A by-division method divides a service area into separate divisions and allows the voters in each division to elect a member of the Board of Directors. The elected member must reside in the division her or she represents.

 

How many division areas are being proposed?

The voters elect the five members of the IRWD Board of Directors and so five division areas are being proposed. Each division would represent approximately 20 percent of IRWD’s population. Population data from the 2010 census will be used as the basis for determining the population of each proposed division.

 

What is the process for evaluating division-based elections and how will the division boundaries be determined?

Establishing division areas and changing the election method is a time consuming process that requires multiple public hearings over a period of months. Elections Code section 10010 provides the specific process for evaluating divisions and a transition to division-based elections. IRWD is committed to pursuing the process outlined in Elections Code section 10010, which requires:

  • Two public hearings to accept public input and comments on how to draw division boundaries prior to drawing draft division boundary maps, time to develop draft maps, publication of draft maps before they are discussed by a local agency;
  • At least two additional public hearings to receive public input and comments on any developed draft maps and any amendments to those maps; and
  • At least one more public hearing held by the governing body of the local agency at which it considers final action to transition to by-division elections and considers adoption of a final map of division boundaries.

If division-based elections are adopted, when will the new divisions take effect?

Elections Code section 22000(d) prohibits a special district board from changing division area boundaries within 180 days prior to an election for any director of its governing board. When IRWD began its evaluation of division-based elections, the next election of directors for the IRWD Board was scheduled for November 6, 2018, and 180 days prior to that election is May 10, 2018. Additionally, the Orange County Registrar of Voters must receive any change in electoral boundaries 125 days before an election in order to implement that change in the next election; 125 days before the next election when IRWD began its evaluation of division-based elections was July 3, 2018.


The May 10 and July 3 deadlines did not allow adequate time for the District to provide the public with the ability to fully participate in the process, acquire meaningful public input and conduct all of the required steps to adopt division boundaries for implementation before the 2018 election. For these reasons, if approved, the new divisions would not become effective until the election in November 2020 - which is the next election for the IRWD Board of Directors.  

 

Library:

Draft Maps Previously Considered

April 8, 2019: Public Hearing Materials

March 11, 2019: Public Hearing Materials

January 14, 2019: Public Hearing Materials 

December 10, 2018: Public Hearing Materials 

June 4, 2018: Presentation for Public Hearing

June 4, 2018: Board Package

May 14, 2018: Meeting Handout - IRWD Existing Conditions

May 14, 2018: Meeting Handout - Summary of Existing Conditions for IRWD

April 2, 2018: Board Report and Resolution adopted by the IRWD Board of Directors “Intent to Initiate the Process of Establishing Divisions and Elections by Divisions

April 2, 2018: Board Minutes for April 2, 1918

Click here to view the California Voting Rights Act