When county 2nd District Supervisor Bruce Gibson needs to know how constituents feel about community issues in unincorporated areas, he turns to three advisory councils — groups of volunteer consultants who make recommendations about projects and issues that affect their areas.
The North Coast Advisory Council soon may revamp itself to better represent constituents’ concerns and make it easier for them to understand and interact with the panel.
The changes could be finalized
at the council’s next meeting — 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, at Rabobank, 1070 Main St.
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Anyone who lives within the council’s purview — from the Monterey County Line to Villa Creek to the ridge of the Santa Lucia range — is encouraged to participate.
Amanda Rice, council chairwoman, said, “The more input we have, the better we’ll be able to make sure we are representing our community.”
Currently, it can be difficult for constituents to know who their representative is, in part because the council’s purview is divvied into numbered voting areas, each of which has its own representation. The confusion can be extreme for residents of Lodge Hill, which spans several contiguous areas.
There are eight voting areas now. Appointed members also represent business, Latino-Latina, agriculture and environmental issues. Each of the dozen seats could have an alternate.
The subcommittee proposes redrawing the lines and renaming the districts based on their locations:
• San Simeon;
• Rural residential;
•Business district (Main Street, lower Burton Drive, Bridge Street and other side streets. Voters must own a business or property there);
• Northeast or Pine Knolls/Leimert/Happy Hill;
•Northwest or Park Hill/Moonstone;
• Southeast or Lodge Hill East, including middle school and former Air Force housing area in the Ramsey Avenue and Skye Street area;
•Southwest or Lodge Hill West, including Strawberry Canyon and Top of the World;
•Marine Terrace (up to Benson Avenue); and
• Conservation lands, including Fiscalini Ranch and other protected properties
There also would be an agricultural representative, elected by Cambria Farm Council members, and a Hispanic representative.
Each of the newly defined areas would have a primary member. Top vote-getters would take the seats; up to 11 other candidates could serve as at-large alternates.
There also could be up to three ex-officio, non-voting members selected by a majority of seated council members to represent specific interests.
With the exception of the business and Fiscalini Ranch districts, voters must live in the area to vote in an election. However, voters would no longer be limited to voting for only their own representative, but will be allowed to vote in all areas.
Candidates, who must be at least 18 years old and live fulltime in the area they would represent, would submit nominating petitions signed by at least 10 residents by the end of NCAC’s March meeting.
The council’s January meeting included a preliminary discussion on revamping the council, and the subcommittee took those suggestions back to the drawing boards less than a week later.
For other proposed changes and the new area map, go to www.northcoastadvisorycouncil.org.