In a draft report released to Santa Cruz County supervisors late last week, the Fifth District, which encompasses Scotts Valley, the San Lorenzo Valley and part of Santa Cruz, was split in a purely political way.
In the tentative report, the district was split straight down Highway 17 through Scotts Valley — making the eastern boundary of the district into a straight line. On a map, this looks like a logical and clean boundary. In reality, it’s as big a mess as can be.
The change would put all homes and business in the Granite Creek area, including the former Borland campus, Baymonte Christian School, several large churches and many residents, into the First District — a district that also includes Soquel.
As far as we can tell, the only good reason this cut has been made is to exclude Scotts Valley mayor Dene Bustichi, who lives on the east side of Highway 17, from running for the Fifth District Supervisor position. Instead, he would have to run in the new formation of the First District, in which he has very little influence.
Bustichi is mayor of a city the Press-Banner covers, so it might seem like we are simply backing a candidate. That’s not the case. We will make endorsements when the time comes, before next June’s election.
What we don’t like is splitting Scotts Valley in two for a political agenda. We believe that Scotts Valley as a whole should remain in District 5. The interests of people within the city are generally very similar — whether on one side of the freeway or the other — so it makes no sense whatsoever to have a supervisor whose district is mostly Santa Cruz and Soquel.
The Fifth District, as it is formed, works. Rather than splitting the city of Scotts Valley in two, the county should keep the district’s eastern boundary as it was, especially related to the city limits.
If the city is split in this illogical manner, it will cause unneeded confusion and only increase distrust of the political system, and it will be the politicians and special interests that are to blame.