The San Marcos CISD board of trustees voted against restructuring the board into seven single-member districts and instead maintained the current structure of five single-member and two at-large trustee positions.

The district began discussing redistricting the board in July 2021 after considering results from the 2020 U.S. census. Trustee at-large Mari Salmi motioned to vote against the proposed restructuring of the board.

“I understand the desire to increase representation on the board, particularly for underrepresented groups,” Salmi said at the Dec. 18 meeting. “I have not found any evidence that moving to an entirely single-member district would meet that goal, and I think that the goal of participation in our electoral process and in our governance as a school board is extremely important. And our constituents have the ability to vote for three trustees when they vote currently, and so I would like to maintain that accessibility for our constituents.”

The background

The board established a redistricting committee of private citizens and hosted multiple public hearings throughout the process. A map was presented at the public hearing Nov. 13 that represents what the district lines for each board member would be based on the elementary school zones, which would give each trustee its own district.

In a single-member district, an individual is elected to represent the constituents of a specific area within the district. At-large trustees are elected to represent the district as a whole, according to the Texas secretary of state.

Board President Anne Halsey said the board should maintain the current structure until it grows and opens a second high school to maintain voter turnout.

"I understand why an all single-member district board could be something that we would need in the future," Halsey said. “I understand why that's important for districts like DFW and for Austin and Houston, which are considerably larger than ours.”

The vote was approved 6-1 with board Vice President Clementine Cantu having the dissenting vote.