Santa Barbara County announced Tuesday the launch of an updated county website and a series of public meetings to involve residents in the supervisorial redistricting process taking place during 2011.

Redistricting is required after each census to balance the population among the districts.

By clicking here, residents can learn why it’s important for them to be aware of and take part in the redistricting process. The website includes background information on the supervisorial redistricting process, time lines and a schedule of upcoming public meetings.

As the redistricting process continues through the spring and summer, the website will add agendas, links to the video recordings of the public meetings and any complete redistricting plans that may be submitted by the public. Online maps and 2010 census data for Santa Barbara County will allow the public to develop and submit redistricting plans to the county for consideration.

“Our goal is to educate and empower county residents to become involved in this redistricting process,” County Executive Officer Chandra Wallar said. “The website is user friendly, enabling all residents to access information, review plans, make suggestions and develop plans. Anyone can sign up to receive Twitter announcements or email notifications of the latest news and information of upcoming community meetings in each supervisor’s district.”

The first public meeting will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. May 16 at Carpinteria City Hall. A brief presentation on the legal requirements of redistricting, an overview of the 2010 census data and an outline of the steps and time line will lead off the agenda. The presentation will be followed by a public question-and-comment period.

Other public meetings will be held:

» May 18 from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Board Hearing Room in Santa Barbara

» May 23 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Lompoc City Hall, City Council Chambers

» May 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Guadalupe City Hall, City Council Chambers

» May 25 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Board Hearing Room in Santa Maria

» May 31 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Goleta City Hall, City Council Chambers

» June 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Solvang City Hall, City Council Chambers

Spanish translation will be available at all of the public meetings.

— Dennis Bozanich is the assistant to the CEO for Santa Barbara County.