Possible Downsizing of the R.I. County Board

Jun 11, 2019

Drue Mielke, from Coal Valley and RI County Board District 22
Credit WVIK News

Hoping to keep the issue alive, some members of the Rock Island County Board want to look at ways to reduce the size of the board. On Wednesday, Republican board members will organize the Minority Caucus Downsizing Reapportionment Task Force.

Drue Mielke, from Coal Valley and District 22, says in an advisory referendum in 2012, 72 per cent of the voters approved reducing the board from its current size - 25 - to 15. 

"The purpose of the task force is to come up with some recommendations on how it might be done so we preserve the ethnic minority voice, the rural minority voice, and the political minority voice - to make sure that everyone has the same representation that they had at 25."

Mielke says it's vitally important to insure rural residents of Rock Island County are well represented because of their greater dependence on county and township services, compared with urban residents. And not surprisingly, he's interested in making sure Republicans are well represented on the board after decades of what he calls one-party rule in the county. 

Districts would be re-drawn following next year's US Census, and take effect in 2022.