County Redistricting Plan Delayed to Accommodate Municipal Input
May 18, 2011
Supervisor John Hendrick 446-4842 Supervisor Scott McDonell 279-6984
Dane County Board action on a tentative county supervisory district plan scheduled for May 19th will be delayed in order to accommodate local government input, Supervisor John Hendrick announced today. Hendrick, who serves as the First Vice-Chair of the County Board and Chair of the Redistricting Subcommittee noted that the delay will improve the final map.
“The County Board’s Redistricting Subcommittee appreciates all the input it has received from municipalities,” said Hendrick. “We believe it is critical to consider changes now at the county level to make the next step in the process, when local governments draw ward boundaries, that much easier,” he added.
Redistricting is the process of redrawing the lines of districts from which public officials are elected to reflect population shifts based on the results of the census. The boundaries for County Board districts will be adjusted based on population changes that have occurred over the last decade. Through the redistricting process, the population within each supervisory district will be equalized so that residents across the County have equal representation on the Board of Supervisors.
The Redistricting Subcommittee recommended that the County Board retain 37 supervisory districts, with a target population of 13,191 in each district. The County Board held a public hearing on a draft map earlier this month. Based on input, particularly from the cities of Madison, Middleton, Fitchburg, and Sun Prairie, and the Town of Windsor, work continues to refine the map.
“We have tried to stay true to the idea that communities of interest, such as municipalities or neighborhood associations, should be in the same County Board supervisory district,” said Hendrick. “Although this work was scheduled to be completed by May 20th, we continue to receive input as late as today that is critical to our work,” he concluded.
Once the County Board approves the tentative plan, it will then be circulated to municipalities for review and so municipalities can draw ward boundaries. State law allows municipalities 60 days from the date they receive the plan to complete local redistricting process.
“This plan will be used for the next decade,” Dane County Board Chairman Scott McDonell pointed out. “It is the better part of wisdom to take a couple extra weeks at this time to get it right for all of Dane County” he said.
The county’s Redistricting Subcommittee will meet again next week to consider changes to the plan.
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