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

Jan 14, 2021

the Rock Island County office building
Credit 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."

Rock Island County Board Chair Richard Brunk
Credit Rock Island County

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.