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Work Begins on New Map for R.I. County Board

Rock Island County

Even before final census figures are known, Rock Island County has begun working on how to re-draw county board member districts. This week, the county board's Governance, Health, and Administration Committee held its first meeting on re-apportionment.

Board Chair Richard Brunk says the committee looked at state laws and recent census estimates, and talked about the process it'll use.

"I'm very confident that there will be a reduction in the number of county board members through this process. The only question is exactly what that number will be."

Credit Rock Island County
Rock Island County Board Chair Richard Brunk

Currently the county board has 25 members, each representing one district. Advocates of reducing its size have talked about 15 members, either from single-member districts or having multiple members elected from the same district.

Brunk says it's important to pick the right number.

"We want to make sure the board reflects the demographics of the county as much as possible. We want to make sure that the average person still has the ability to participate beyond the ballot box by serving in local public office if they were to have that desire to try and do that."

The deadline is July to have the new map completed. Brunk says his goal is for the process to be thorough, thoughtful, and transparent.  

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.