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Placer supes poised to vote water agency director out of a seat

Redistricting boundary adjustments to leave Placer County Water Agency’s Mike Lee outside District 4
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Mike Lee moved closer Tuesday to being voted out of office and all it will take is three votes. Constituents in the Placer County Water Agency district he has served for the past 11 years won’t be part of the vote. Instead, the five-member Placer County Board of Supervisors – who are making redistricting changes for both their own five districts and the water agency’s – are moving forward on a remapping effort that would shift Lee’s home into fellow Director Lowell Jarvis’s District 3. And all it will take are three votes – or a simple majority on the county board. Lee, who also served 16 years on the Board of Supervisors, said he’s represented the Loomis area surrounding his home for a total of 27 years and doesn’t like the reasoning going into a decision-making process he feels has more to do with politics than anything else. “It definitely becomes political – it’s purely political,” Lee said. “I guess I’m the sacrificial lamb to be thrown into a race with Lowell Jarvis, if he decides to run.” County staff presented supervisors Tuesday with a boundary adjustment that could have allowed Lee to retain residency in his district. But the move was rejected by District 4 Supervisor Kirk Uhler, who objected to a split of the Granite Bay Community Plan area the change would necessitate. “I think that’s trouble – no offense,” Uhler said. “Throughout the process, the goal has been to keep community interests whole and intact. Introducing another supervisor into the community plan area is tough.” Under the option that could have kept Lee in District 4, boundaries would have been pulled northward to a section of King Road, adding 1,117 more residents to Uhler’s Granite Bay-area district. Lee said the staff’s boundary-line option made sense to him. The county has two supervisors representing Roseville so it wouldn’t be unprecedented to have two representing residents in the Granite Bay Community Plan area, he said. Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery said that the shift to allow Lee to keep his seat would be problematical with the public. She has already heard negative comments. “The term gerrymandering was mentioned and it’s something we don’t want to deal with,” Montgomery said. County staff will now prepare final mapping for public hearings in September and October. Deadline for approving the boundary changes for supervisorial districts is Nov. 1.