From the OC Register (pay special attention to Eastman's idiotic quote at the bottom):
ANAHEIM – Voters should be asked whether Anaheim is carved into City Council districts as a way to ensure better representation of minority communities, according to a draft report set for consideration Thursday night.
Additionally, the City Council should be expanded from five members to six or eight with an at-large mayor, according to preliminary recommendations by the Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections and Community Involvement.
Palm trees frame Anaheim City Hall. The city is considering making major changes as to how the City Council is elected.
The 11-member panel was formed in the wake of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit filed last June, alleging that the city's longstanding system of electing five at-large council members violates the state's Voting Rights Act.
The committee is expected to issue its final recommendations Thursday and present the findings May 31 to the Anaheim City Council. From there, the City Council could ultimately decide whether to put any proposed changes onto a citywide ballot.
"The fundamental question of how we are to be governed should be put to the ballot," said Mayor Tom Tait.
"I'm pleased that the draft report affirms my previous proposal that the best way to determine whether we should have districts is to simply ask the citizens of Anaheim," Tait said. "Who better to decide than the people who live here?"
Along with districts and council size, the committee is expected to consider whether the city should work with community leaders to drum up voter registration, hold more neighborhood council meetings and change the time that City Council meetings are held from 5 p.m. to 6:30.
An Orange County Superior Court judge is expected to rule in July on the ACLU's lawsuit, which alleges that Latinos are shut out of Anaheim's city elections. In the meantime, records show that the city has spent more than $400,000 in legal fees fighting the lawsuit and an additional $35,000 to operate the citizen's commission.
"It's expensive to maintain the lawsuit, but we also need to look at how much it would cost to expand the City Council," Councilwoman Gail Eastman said. "I don't know how we could physically expand the council to eight people in the Chamber. The more issues we put on the ballot, the more people will get confused."
The Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections and Community Involvement will hold its final meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Anaheim City Council's Chamber, at 200 S. Anaheim Blvd.