The Orange County Commission has to decide whether or not to spend $340,000 to defend themselves from a lawsuit over redistricting. Three women are suing the County, saying Hispanics are not properly represented in the new lines drawn by commissioners in 2011.
Several groups of Hispanic advocates asked for a seat on the County Commission that would come from a district where the majority of the voters were Hispanic. The county instead set the lines so that two districts would have 40 percent Hispanic voters. Hispanic advocate Eddy Dominguez says the county should look at other options.
"I wouldn't say court is the only option. I would say that county commissioners have a slew of options on their hands. Special elections can be done to remedy this situation. Now, whether or not that's in the best interest of the commissioners that have just been elected, that's up for debate."
We asked Dominguez if using outside counsel Grey Robinson to defend the taxpayers to the tune of $340,000 was a waste of money, to which he replied, "Absolutely. That's just an excessive amount of money. I would,, If it was a legal decision for my company to make a determination, we would want to come to the table."
District 3 Commissioner Pete Clark comes from one of the 40 percent Hispanic districts and he has asked for a full discussion on the matter, wondering if there is a solution that will not cost the taxpayers so much money.
One problem commissioners will face when deciding, is just how much power they hold to make such changes. It is not likely they could legally give the plaintiffs what they want. The board is not likely able to either call for a special election or redraw district boundaries, unless a court orders them to do so.