County begins redistricting to adjust for 19-member board
Going from 31 to 19 members on the St. Croix County Board will result in uneven citizen representation, at least for a couple of years, supervisors were told Tuesday.
Because the redistricting process must use population counts from the 2000 census, numbers that are about 16,500 people out of date, and stick with existing municipal ward boundaries, it's not possible to reach usual equal representation goals, reported Senior Planner Ellen Denzer.
Last November county citizens passed a binding referendum to reduce the size of the board to 19.
The redistricting plan to accomplish that must be adopted by Nov. 15, but the County Board's Administration Committee hopes to hold a public hearing on the plan in March and have it adopted by the County Board in either April or May, said Denzer.
The intent, she said, is to give towns, villages and cities time to change coding that's required for each voter.
That will take time, said Denzer. "We're not sure how much because we've never had to do this before."
St. Croix's 2000 census population was 63,155. After that count, districts were redrawn to populations of about 2,040 each. Since the 2000 count will be used, the current redistricting goal is 3,324 people per district.
"This will not last for more than one election," said Denzer.
She said the county will also have to redistrict after the 2010 census. Because those numbers won't be finalized until 2011, county officials will work on redistricting that year to prepare for the 2012 elections.
These are some of the guidelines for redistricting: