John Stodder, a former Edelman deputy who is an environmental aide to Mayor Tom Bradley, said he expects Edelman to blossom as an environmentalist if he ends up representing the west end of the county, an area that includes Malibu. Malibu is part of Supervisor Deane Dana's 4th District.
"I think Ed's always had a latent environmental interest, and now he and his staff will have an opportunity to give expression to that," Stodder said.
Joel Bellman, Edelman's press secretary, refused to comment on the hopes of the slow-growth advocates that his boss will be more sympathetic to their cause than Antonovich has been.
"I'm optimistic about Mr. Antonovich leaving us, but I'm concerned about replacing him with an entrenched board member who has not changed the system," Wallace said.
If slow-growth people would like to see Antonovich go, for reasons of their own, Antonovich may gain from shedding the western end of his district.
The area has proved to be a political headache for the veteran supervisor. Antonovich's showing at the polls in the 1988 primary was particularly poor in communities in the west end.
Overall, Antonovich scored 45% of the vote in the June, 1988, primary election, forcing him into a runoff that November. But the supervisor did less well in the west end of his district in the primary. For example, in Agoura Hills, Antonovich got 26% of the vote; Calabasas voters gave him 24% and the vote for him in Topanga was 15%.
The problem for the supervisor lay in his pro-growth philosophy and in the fact that Wallace, one of his strongest rivals, was a favorite son in Calabasas. In fact, many of the leaders of the slow-growth coalition that tried to oust Antonovich hailed from the unincorporated west end of the district.
The supervisor is reluctant to comment on the political implications of the redistricting plan, which he has opposed. "I'd be as safe in the new district as the old one," he said recently.
But Alan Hoffenblum, a political consultant and one of the small coterie of advisers who discussed reapportionment strategies with Antonovich before the supervisor's vote on the plan last week, said it is clear that the plan makes Antonovich's 5th Supervisorial District "more Republican," and therefore safer.
Not only would the plan peel off the fractious west end of Antonovich's district, but it would add new, rock-ribbed Republican regions to his bailiwick on the east, including the cities of Monrovia, Azusa, Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont. These areas are now represented by Supervisor Pete Schabarum.
But Antonovich's dealings with communities torn by development issues would not end even if the new reapportionment plan were finally approved--he would retain the Santa Clarita and Antelope valley areas.