Friday, June 3, 2011

Lake County Board Releases New Proposed Map (UPDATED)

This year, concurrent with the new census results, the Lake County Board district map is being redrawn, just like all of the other government districts. The primary change is that the Board is proposing that the number of districts be reduced from 23 to 21.

The new proposed map can be viewed at the Lake County website, but getting to it is a bit of a pain.

First, click here, and then click at the upper right-hand corner to view the reapportionment committee hearing agenda (set for Tuesday, June 7th at 2:00 pm), and then open up the meeting agenda PDF. Then click on the embedded hyperlink to view the "Proposed Map" (page 2, section 7.1 of the agenda).

You can expect some gnashing of teeth by the Dems since the GOP essentially got to draw this map, but compared to the closed process the Dems used to draw the state and congressional district maps, they have essentially left themselves no room to complain about whatever the GOP did. It's a fair map, nevertheless.

UPDATED: Russell Lissau at the Daily Herald has a good article up with reaction from several county board members; four Democrats will find themselves doubled up into two districts.


Anonymous said...

It's a fair map? Really? It was an open process, really? You call it open because you call the state's process closed, so, perforce, this one is better? Specious logic. Lake County is not so large that they couldn't have held public hearings. Look at the amount of money the county spent in 2010 to explain why the county is NOT responsible for high property tax bills. They will spent less than a tenth of that on informing the public about this map. But you call it fair and open. This is further evidence that Lake County desperately needs an independently elected county board chair. The rubber-stamp approval process is part and parcel of Lake County's highest property taxes in the State of Illinois.

A. Bees said...

So what is wrong with this map? The fact that they tried to keep as many towns as possible whole? When the minority party isn't screaming, you have a pretty tough time complaining.

What exactly is a public hearing going to accomplish? The county board members are elected to represent the public. They served on the committee to represent the people and draw the lines as fair as possible. They did their job, now it's the job of the entire Board to vote on the map. If there are further problems it then goes to the courts. That's how the system of checks and balances work.

Anonymous said...

"What exactly is a public hearing going to accomplish?"

Since Louis and TA were the one's bashing the Illinois House and Senate redistricting process for a lack of public hearings, I'll let them answer that question.

But, as someone once told me, the scariest things in life are the things we don't know anything about. In this map, there are many things we know nothing about. What is the racial make-up of the new districts? Why is it that the two African-American commissioners are forced into the same district? What guarantee do we have that the claimed reduction in expense by reducing the number of districts will actually translate into a reduction in costs. Already, certain republican commissioners are complaining that the larger districts will cost more to represent and thus their expense accounts should be increased.

But make no mistake; merely electing them as county commissioners grants them no carte blanche. The one thing that the Lake County Board has lacked since the time of Depke is transparency. The remap process and Bees' comment tell the tale of the Lake County Board: "You elected us, now mind your own business and just pay your taxes!"

A. Bees said...

Sorry nice try, but I asked YOU what the public hearing would do. I didn't ask anyone else. Nice to try to dodge a direct question.

Once again, it is the job of the elected officials and if necessary the courts to handle this situation. If these people are not doing their job, then it is our job to elect someone else. This is the system of checks and balances that our constitution designed. It really is that simple.

Anonymous said...

This map will probably cause a law suit. It eliminates one of only three African-American represented districts in the county. And the Ninth is supposed to be set up to encourage hispanic representation. If it saves so much money, why not reduce to eighteen?