Ad Hoc committee takes recommendations to full Board - Revised districts, fewer members advised

Beth Welbers
Geneseo Republic
County Board members will vote on revised districts and downsizing their number Thursday September 16.

The Ad Hoc Reapportionment Committee finalized their choices of multiple versions of maps for the county and arrived on a final downsized number to propose to the full Board on Thursday September 16.  

Voting members Kippy Breeden, Marshall Jones, Shawn Kendall and Jan May approved a two revised district map.  They will be presenting the agreed map to the full County Board at the September 16 meeting.  

The subject of reduction of Board size involved more discussion.  May was in favor of no reduction, and maintaining the 20 members currently serving.  Kendall, Jones and Breeden all were in favor of a smaller number of 16, divided equally between the two districts.  When brought to a vote, the 16 member board was approved. 

Equal representation and the larger communities having more members on the board was brought up. Kendall advocated that as far as numbers, 20 was better practically speaking, but would prefer 16 focused and involved members. 

Advisory member Kathy Nelson pointed out that "The biggest part of success is showing up.  The Board depends on them to be there.  Candidates must commit to their responsibility to the County. "

Members currently attend several Committee meetings monthly in addition to the full board meeting the third Thursday of each month.  Members are invited to attend other committee meetings besides the ones they are assigned to as well. 

The Ad Hoc committee decided to solicit input from the full Board regarding the pay and per diem schedule.  States Attorney Cathy Runty advised that changes can be made on the pay schedule with a resolution at a later date.  The pay schedule for Board members has not been revised since 2016.

The new districts, and the smaller Board will take effect with the 2022 election cycle.  All Board members will be up for election, and petitions will be available in January for the June 28 primary.