The City of Oakley is currently in the process of transitioning from at-large elections for its five City Councilmembers to district-based elections.
At the October 26 meeting, the council narrowed down its options on City Council District Maps to two finalists–one will be a 4-District Map with an at-large mayor position. The second option, a 5-District map with the mayor position continuing to rotate. Oakley began the process in July.
According to City Attorney Derek Cole, the council will have to make its decision by November 9 on whether there would be five city council districts, or 4 city council Districts—meaning a 4-year at-large mayor election.
“That is going to be the big item for the next meeting,” said Cole, as well as introduce finalist maps. The final map could be pushed out December if they had to. “The other wildcard is with the ordinance, which Districts will run in 2022. That will have to be decided at your next meeting.”
Councilwoman Anissa Williams stated the city should stay with five elected city councilmembers.
“I think the spirit of this is so lots of people can be represented. Unfortunately, what I have seen in our neighboring cities and in our last city council election, usually the person with the highest campaign financing or how much money is spent in it are the people who get elected,” stated Williams who explained five council districts would give equal opportunity to the entire city to be represented.
Councilmember George Fuller asked the council if they wanted to finalize the mayor option Tuesday or wait until November.
“I think we need a mayor that is elected by the city and is accountable to the at-large community, but I will have more comments on that on November 4,” stated Fuller.
City Attorney said they could provide direction, but the final decision would come at the next meeting so that it could be on the agenda to inform the public of the discussion.
“Its probably premature tonight,” said Cole.
The council took no other action, and the city would post the two finalist maps for residents to provide feedback.
There are five criteria used for drawing districts:
- Equal population
- Compliance with the Federal Voting Rights Act (FVRA)
- Respect for Communities of Interest
This month, two draft districting maps were posted on the City’s website for public comment. https://www.ci.oakley.ca.us/draft-maps/
The City Council welcomes all feedback and public comments on the draft maps. Members of the public can submit comments via email at [email protected], by post to Oakley City Hall, 3231 Main Street, or by phone at (925) 625-7013.
Districting Meeting dates are listed below. Please click on a date to view the agenda and staff reports.
- August 31, 6:30pm Oakley City Council Chambers 3231 Main Street, Oakley CA 94561
- September 28, 7pm Oakley City Council Chambers 3231 Main Street, Oakley CA 94561
- October 5, 6:30pm This meeting with be held virtually on Zoom
- October 26, 7pm Oakley City Council Chambers 3231 Main Street, Oakley CA 94561
- November 9, 7pm Oakley City Council Chambers 3231 Main Street, Oakley CA 94561
- December 14, 7pm Oakley City Council Chambers 3231 Main Street, Oakley CA 94561