Theirs was the first of six public hearings the five county board supervisors are conducting between May 31 and June 9 to gain comments from those in the districts that are affected by boundary changes. County boards must review their supervisory boundaries after each decennial census and must redraw their district boundaries to attain roughly equal populations.
Only 20 took seats in the spacious Dublin City Council chamber to hear the supervisors and county staff.
Michael Munk of the Alameda County Community Development Agency, who is assisting the board in the redistricting process, said the recent 2010 Census shows that the county's population has increased by 4.6%, or by 66,530 to 1,510,271, compared to 1,443,741 in the 2000 Census.
Although modest compared to the overall 10% population growth for California as a whole, Alameda County's growth was uneven, with a 9.8% increase in Scott Haggerty's District 1 compared to a population loss of 5.38% in Nate Miley's District 4.
Haggerty's district now represents the cities of Pleasanton and Livermore, most of Fremont and a portion of Sunol and Dublin. Miley, who is president of the county board, represents most of Dublin, Castro Valley, east Oakland and several smaller communities.
Munk said that to comply with redistricting requirements, the target population for each of the five supervisory districts should total about 302,000 in population. Supervisor districts also should be contiguous and have easily identifiable geographic boundaries.
"They also must comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to assure fair and effective representations for racial and language-minority groups," Munk said.
For these reasons, Haggerty and Miley showed a new supervisory district map that had been prepared for the redistricting hearings that shows Pleasanton would be split into two districts along the north and south lines of Stoneridge Drive.
Haggerty would continue to represent the part of Pleasanton south of Stoneridge Drive; Miley would pick up the portion of the city north of Stoneridge Drive and west of I-680, including Hacienda Business Park and Stoneridge Shopping Center. He would continue to represent most of Dublin although the new boundaries would still give Haggerty the eastern sector of that city.
The proposal brought an immediate objection from Pleasanton Vice Mayor Cheryl Cook-Kallio, who spoke on behalf of the City Council.
"I want to emphasize that we don't want Pleasanton split," she said. "We like the experienced representation we have for our population of 70,000 people."
Pleasanton officials pointed out that the city already is split into three state legislative districts, represented by Assembly members Joan Buchanan, Mary Hayashi and Bob Wieckowski, and by two congressmen: Jerry McNerney and Pete Stark.
"We want to keep Pleasanton in a single supervisory district as it is now," Cook-Kallio said.
But former Dublin Mayor Janet Lockhart disagreed.
"Dublin now has two supervisors (Miley and Haggerty), and I wouldn't want it any other way," she said at Tuesday night's hearing. "It's nice to know that there are two supervisors on the county board who are supporting us. We would be concerned about changing this."
Although Haggerty said he will wait until after all the hearings are held and comments made before making a decision on boundary changes, he and Miley both said they favored boundary changes. Haggerty said his district now is too big geographically, stretching as it does to the San Joaquin County line and south into most of Fremont.
"I'm not prejudging this plan," Haggerty said. "But it makes it a lot easier when you have two supervisors representing the smaller cities."
"I need to respond to those who say this city (Pleasanton) shouldn't be split," he added. "Fremont will probably say the same thing. They don't want to be split either. I'll approach this redistricting plan the same way I did the last time. I won't decide until the final vote."
Five more hearings are being held, each hosted by supervisors who represent those districts. They were Wednesday in the Hayward City Hall, and Thursday at the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association. Hearings also will be held next Monday in the Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda, Berkeley; next Wednesday at the Alameda County Administration Building, 1221 Oak St., Oakland; and Thursday, June 9, at the Fremont Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd.
The deadline for submitting comments on the redistricting proposals is June 10, with the ad-hoc committee that is conducting the public hearings to submit its report and recommendations June 13.
The county board is expected to vote on the redistricting plan July 12 with a final reading of the ordinance that's passed to be held July 26.
In reviewing population changes in Alameda County at Tuesday night's hearing, Munk said that in the last 10 years, the cities with the largest gains are Dublin, up 53.6% to 46,036; Emeryville, up 46.5% to 10,080; Albany, up 12.7% to 18,539; and Livermore and Pleasanton, both up 10.4% to 80,968 and 70,285, respectively.
Oakland, Fremont, Hayward and Berkeley, the largest cities in the county with populations above 100,000, grew only modestly or not at all. Oakland, in fact, saw a 2.2% population loss with 8,760 leaving the city to drop its population to 390,724.
Of these larger cities, Berkeley grew the most, up 9.6% to a new population of 112,580. Fremont saw a 5.2% gain to 214,089, and Hayward's population rose by 3% to 144,186.