The shift to by-district voting is still the talk of the towns in Vista and Oceanside, and this week the Oceanside City Council will make its first decision on the issue.
Vista and Oceanside are the latest cities in North County to be threatened with lawsuits over their at-large voting systems, in which council members are chosen by the whole city. One voting-rights group says these systems violate the rights of minority groups, by making minorities unable to affect the outcome of the election.
Last month, Vista begrudgingly moved forward with the process of changing to by-district voting, which involves four public hearings to discuss what the map of districts would look like.
Mayor Judy Ritter recently argued in the Union-Tribune that at-large is a “much stronger method of representation for Vista.”
“Think how problematic it would be if none of the council members have concerns about the needs for residents who are not in their district. Might they write off certain parts of the city?”
Ritter also wrote that by-district voting provides an interest for council members to appeal only to one group, which divides the community, and asserts that council members past and present have represented the interests of the community as a whole.