When it comes to asking for advice on drawing the boundaries for their districts, some members of the City Council are asking for a little help from their friends.
Mayor Kevin Johnson and the eight members of the council made their appointments last week to a citizen advisory committee to help with mandatory redistricting that will take place in the coming months.
The re-drawing of the eight council districts takes place in years census data is released so that the city is cut into districts with equal populations. That certainly isn't the case right now, as the district covering Natomas and downtown has more than 100,000 people and most others have around 50,000.
The final say on how the lines are drawn is with the council. But in the meantime, they've asked for some help and many of the names on the advisory commission are familiar ones.
The mayor - who of all the city's elected officials has the least to gain from this process because he's elected citywide - appointed Steve Maviglio, the political operative who ran Johnson's successful 2008 campaign.
Maviglio said his background would be an asset, as "redistricting is inherently a political process and I think it's helpful when citizens with political experience are appointed to the commission."
He said he has conflicting views on whether the downtown grid should be one district - three council districts currently have a slice of the grid - and that "we need to worry about keeping neighborhoods together more than we need to worry about keeping incumbents in their districts."
The other appointments were:
- Councilwoman Angelique Ashby appointed Roman Porter, the executive director of the Fair Political Practices Commission. Like Ashby, he lives in the Creekside area of North Natomas.
- Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy, supported heavily by the city's labor unions, appointed Bill Camp, the head of the Central Labor Council.
- Councilman Steve Cohn, who represents east Sacramento, appointed Cyril Shah, a financial adviser and Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment commissioner who is a past president of the East Sacramento Improvement Association.
- Councilman Rob Fong appointed former city Fire Chief Julius Cherry, who was a law firm colleague of Fong's and is a close friend of the councilman.
- Councilman Jay Schenirer appointed Stephen Hansen, the senior regional manager of state government affairs for technology firm Genentech.
- Councilman Kevin McCarty appointed Bill Motmans, the president of the Tahoe Park Neighborhood Association. McCarty represents Tahoe Park.
- Councilman Darrell Fong appointed Bernard Bowler, a former IBM executive and former chair of the board of St. HOPE, the non-profit founded by the mayor.
- Councilwoman Bonnie Pannell appointed Sandra Frye-Lucas, who teaches computer applications in the city school system and runs a consulting firm that deals in job training, marketing and fundraising.