The temporary redistricting commission for Mitchell county will be hosting a series of public meetings to present the maps that have been developed by the commission over the past few months.

A five person redistricting committee consisting of Chrystal Berche, Rita Dvorak, Mark Hendrickson, Mike Mayer, Stan Walk, were appointed by the Mitchell County supervisors in accordance to Iowa Code 331.210A, which allowed Supervisors to first, vote on the size of the commission they wished to have, and then appoint committee members.

According to the code, the board members representing the majority political party, were allotted a greater number of appointees, in this case, three, while the minority party supervisor was allowed the remaining two. This five-person board would be responsible for presenting to the public and the board of supervisors their recommendation of how the new districts should be formed.

The Mitchell County Redistricting commission held several meetings to discuss the maps and divisions they had worked out, and to discuss with the county auditor which plan(s) would cause the least confusion and disruption to voters.

In the 2018 election, Mitchell County Voters were presented with an option to move from three supervisors to five. The majority of the votes were in favor of this switch, meaning Mitchell County, which previously had three districts and thus three supervisors, would be moving to five districts and thus five supervisors.

The rules for redistricting called for the ideal population of a district to be determined by taking the total population of the county (10,776) and dividing it by the number of districts, in this case five, meaning that each district should have 2,155 people with a mean deviation of .01 or 1%. Therefore each district’s population needs to be within the range of 2134 to 2176 people, Other key rules include 1) cities with a population under 2,155 could not be divided and 2) districts boundaries need to be contiguous.

At the upcoming public meetings, three maps will be presented by the redistricting commission, giving citizens an opportunity to ask questions and get a visual idea of what redistricting would look like under the plans presented.

The commission will make a recommendation to the board of supervisors following the series of public meetings, with the final determination for redistricting plan to be made by the Supervisors following a public hearing which has not been scheduled yet.

The plan approved by the board of supervisors shall be submitted to the state commissioner of elections for approval.

Meeting locations:

• Tuesday July 16 Stacyville Public Library 5:30 – 6:30pm

• Thursday July 18 Riceville Public Library 5:30 – 6:30pm

• Tuesday July 23 Milton R. Owen Nature Center -5:30 – 6:30pm

• Thursday July 25 St. Ansgar American Legion 5:30 – 6:30pm

3 COMMENTS

  1. So, let me get this straight as I am interpreting this commission…a current supervisor is on the committee to decide which parts of the County he will be representing?

    The simple fact that he is even participating looks to be a clear “conflict of interest”. Then again… look at the individual I’m talking about.

    The easiest, most cost efficient, and fairest way to do this was to make all five future supervisors “at large” positions. What a novel idea that would have been.

    • I disagree with all five being “At-Large”. Rural citizens and those from small towns deserve representation on the board. If they are all “At-Large” they could all end up boing from just one portion of the county.

  2. The problem right now is one, specific supervisor is not making decisions in the best interests of the entire county. This person “smoozes” his constituents and has always had “pet” projects that don’t benefit all county residents..hint… paving low traveled roads in the NW sections of the county(Red Ball Rd) as an example. Heck… he’s pushing to get the road north of Toeterville paved. Adding to the County’s debt load.

    Your concerns would be removed, if true, when the next election came around. Any supervisor that showed they were playing favorites would be voted out.

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