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Districts in the future? Allison K. Sampite | Sat, Aug 27 2011 12:00 PM

Chula Vista's Charter Review Commission will conduct its first public outreach meeting this month to present information to residents about the prospect of district elections.

The process follows a June discussion when the City Council asked the commission to tell them whether its election process should change from at-large to include districts.

Using ideas and suggestions for general public outreach provided by Chula Vista city principal project coordinator Leilani Hines, the commission discussed methods of outreach it could accomplish based off three criteria including cost, effort and effectiveness.

The commission's goal is to come back to the council by February with a report in time for the June general elections.

Since then, the commission decided to carry out six months of public outreach to get a general consensus from the pubic and conduct demographic research from residents.

The idea, commission member William Richter said, is to find the least costly and most effective means of outreach.

"Most people haven't even thought about district elections, so getting the information out is important," he said.

At a meeting last week, commission members Richter and Egbert Oostburg, who head the public outreach ad hoc committee, opted to hold open houses, presentations for community groups and create a website to provide information about district elections.

The commission has a shoe-string budget of $400 that can be used for outreach.

Commission members said they will likely go to council in September to request additional funds once they've created an itemized list of needs.

The commission created a comment card for residents to fill out during public outreach events with the question: Are you in favor of changing the method that is used to elect city officials?

The commission will meet Monday, Aug. 29, at 4 p.m. to conduct a mock presentation before their first public presentation on district elections during the Tuesday, Aug. 30, Southwest Civic Association meeting at 6 p.m. in the south Chula Vista library.

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