Dear Editor:

Our recent experience serving on the above referenced advisory commission was challenging and rewarding. We also strongly believe that certain changes are now past due, and implementation will significantly enable future district lines commissions to responsibly guide the process and drive a transparent outcome that we all will be proud and supportive of.

I hereby submit the following two recommendations for your consideration and timely adoption.

1. We believe the residents of San Mateo County will be better and truly served by the replacement of the existing practice of establishing a District Lines Advisory Commission with a truly Independent District Lines Commission, with the accountability and responsibility to develop and approve all future district lines, effective immediately. The future independent commission should be closely modeled after our neighbors to the south: Los Angeles County and San Diego County. This investment of taxpayer dollars, less than 1 percent of the budget, will generate immeasurable returns.

2. The residents of San Mateo County will be better served by the expansion of the current five-member board of supervisors to seven members, effective with the 2024 election. Our county has grown and continues to grow in numbers, diversity, neighborhoods of similar interest, and I hereby request you to start the education process on how to expand from five to seven immediately.

Thank you, and on behalf of all, we sincerely trust you will not allow this opportunity to pass, but truly fulfill your duty and obligation, not only to the people who elected you, but to all residents of San Mateo County.

Remember, democracy dies in darkness!

Jim Lawrence

Foster City

Editor’s note: Lawrence is the chairman of the San Mateo County District Lines Advisory Commission. He wrote this letter as an open letter to the Board of Supervisors.

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(1) comment

Yosemite

Hard to project what the Board of Supervisors will look like 10 years from now but if any of them remember the power play that this Advisory Commission tried to pull off I doubt they'll be enthusiastic about empowering the next one to produce a fait accompli.

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