July 07, 2011

Every ten years each community goes through a redistricting process to ensure that representation is as equal as possible for the next ten years.  Earlier this summer aldermen appointed a committee to give direction as to how the wards and aldermanic districts could be drawn to best serve the citizens of the community.  The committee took a difficult task and did an outstanding job creating  a map with wards and districts that minimized the number of ballots required at the polls (saving residents money on elections), matching county & school districts to minimize confusion, and equalizing population and representation throughout the next ten years.

The county supervisory districts form the base for the city's wards and districts.  Typically each county supervisory district forms two aldermanic districts.  Unfortunately, the county changed its district boundaries in such a maner that placed three current aldermen in one county supervisory district, which would lead to them running in the same district in the next election if they both wished to continue serving the community.

This should not be a political process but rather a plan to best represent the community over the next ten years at the least cost and most understandable maner to the people who live here.  It was quickly apparent during the council meeting that the goal wasn't equal representation over the next ten years but rather protecting the incumbents.  After a lengthy discussion the proposed map was rejected by six of the eight aldermen.

On July 11th a special workshop will be held by the aldermen at 6PM where they will redraw the map created by the redistricting committee.   I'm disappointed that the council didn't accept the recommendation of the committee that they appointed, and hope that this process doesn't become overly political.  I will however veto any redistricting plan that:

-has wards crossing county supervisory districts
-creates multiple ballots and additional costs unnecessarily
-creates a Calumet County Aldermanic District (an area which will see substantial growth over the next 10 years) larger than the average of the Winnebago County districts

I would urge you to call your alderman and tell them that you want the map to be simple, create the fewest ballots (and lowest cost elections), and equalize representation in all areas of the community for the next ten years.