District Election Evaluation Process

District Election Evaluation Process

District Election Evaluation Process

The Irvine Ranch Water District Board of Directors has begun the public process to evaluate moving from an at-large election process to division-based elections. The resolution titled “Intent to Initiate the Process of Establishing Divisions and Elections by Divisions” was formally adopted by the IRWD Board on April 2, 2018.

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 is 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 will continue to keep our customers informed on this issue. Please continue to check this webpage for updates.

Next Steps


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


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


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

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. The next election of directors for the IRWD Board is 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 is July 3, 2018.


The May 10 and July 3 deadlines do 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.  

 

Library:

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

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