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Downsized districts unveiled

The pieces fit

Mike Heine/The Week

(Published July 11, 2007, 12:53 p.m.)

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Or at least the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission thinks they do.

SEWRPC completed the new Walworth County supervisory district lines and unveiled the map at Tuesday's county board meeting.

"I think we've met the key and most important criteria and population criteria that was set fourth," said Phil Evenson, SEWRPC executive director.

In other words, the puzzle was recreated without any major problems.

The agency offered to redraw the district lines at no cost after voters passed a referendum downsizing the county board from 25 supervisors to 11.

District makeup

• Populations, based on 2000 census data, range from 8,124 to 8,604, a difference of 5.74 percent across the board.

• They have whole municipalities to the best extent possible.

• Each district was made with existing ward boundaries.

• Each has the fewest number of school districts as possible.

• Five districts have populations dominated by township residents. Five have populations dominated by city or village residents. One district is split about evenly.

• Of the 13 incorporated municipalities, only the city of Whitewater is split into more than one district. It's larger population forced it to be split.

• Two townships-Delavan and Linn-have portions in three districts.

• Six townships-Bloomfield, Darien, Lyons, Sugar Creek, Troy and Whitewater-have portions in two districts.

• The remaining six towns are in one district.

• Only one district is made up entirely of unincorporated areas (a portion of the city of Burlington lies within the district, but has no registered voters).

What's next

• A public hearing in August will allow citizens to make recommendations to the district lines.

• The county board will likely give preliminary approval to the lines and ask municipal clerks for their input.

• By September, municipalities will have suggested changes or OK'ed the district lines. A second public hearing then will be had and the county board will likely approve the recommended boundaries, with any changes, no later than the October board meeting.

• The county has until Nov. 15 to certify the lines. The boundaries must be approved by the state by then so candidates can start circulating nominating papers in early December.

• The election for county supervisor will be April 1, 2008.

What's expected

• With just 11 lines, it's likely incumbent will challenge incumbent in at least several districts. Some districts might even have three incumbents seeking one seat.

• The group calling for a smaller county board, the county chapter for the Citizens for Responsible Government, has pledged to find candidates who will spend and tax less than the current board has.

• Municipal clerks will have to reprogram their Statewide Voter Registration System to accommodate the changes since citizens will not be in the same district anymore. Doing so is a long and tedious process, clerks have reported.

District boundaries, populations

• 1-Village of East Troy and Mukwonago, towns of East Troy and Troy. 8,246

• 2-City of Burlington (no voters in district), towns of Lafayette, Lyons, Spring Prairie, Troy. 8,397

• 3-City of Whitewater (eastern half), towns of LaGrange, Sugar Creek, Whitewater. 8,546

• 4- City of Whitewater (western half). 8,147

• 5-Village of Darien, towns of Darien, Delavan, Richmond, Whitewater. 8,459

• 6-City of Elkhorn, town of Sugar Creek. 8,248

• 7-Village of Williams Bay, towns of Delavan Geneva, Linn. 8,515

• 8-City of Delavan, towns of Darien, Delavan. 8,604

• 9-Villages of Fontana, Sharon, Walworth, towns of Sharon, Walworth. 8,197

• 10-Village of Genoa City, towns of Bloomfield, Linn. 8,530

• 11-City of Lake Geneva, towns of Bloomfield, Linn, Lyons. 8,124

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