Assemblyman Don Wagner sent this letter, suffused with common sense and clear thinking, to Mayor Tom Tait and the Anaheim City Council, urging them to reject single-member council districts:
June 11, 2013
Dear Mayor Tait and Council Members,
I write to express my reservations about the plan before you tonight with respect to district voting.
My principal concern is that district rather than at large voting might actually divide rather than unite a community. Having served previously in local government, I know well the importance of all members of a governing body having a direct stake in the decisions they take, a stake created by a direct relationship with the voters. To the extent that relationship is weakened, neighborhoods or discrete communities can be pitted against each other and special interests can more easily achieve functional control over a governing body. That is obviously not a desirable result. Moreover, the damage this can do is not outweighed by the asserted benefits of district voting.
I frankly doubt that potentially lessening an Anaheim council member’s ties to the whole of Anaheim — indeed, potentially rendering those ties irrelevant to election to office — is a move in the right direction. Accordingly, I urge the council to reject any such districting proposal.
Thank you for your consideration, and thank you for your service to our shared constituents.
Donald P. Wagner
Assembly Member, 68th District
Kudos to Assemblyman Don Wagner, one of the rare elected Republicans in Orange County who recognizes what the push for single-member council districts is all about and is speaking up.