Mark Pietrowski’s effort to champion Paul Stoddard’s choice for the recently redistricted county board map pricked my curiosity. There were hints of local Republican gerrymandering and even admission by some local Democrats that they — well, maybe not our local non-partisan Dems but those at the “state-level” — did an embarrassing job of partisan redistricting of the state map.
Most exciting to me was learning of the fact that because of the redistricting all 24 of the county board seats are up for re-election in the 2012 election cycle. Now that could bring change especially if the current incumbents don’t quit listening to the appointed staff more than they do their electors.
Then there was Sycamore’s announcement that it was going to reapportion its ward boundaries. They tend to do things proactively in the county seat city. That allows more time for public input.
But that made me wonder are other communities required to reapportion their ward boundaries? If so should the new wards be compact with near equalized population? And if so, when?
Those questions required reading of state statutes that are worded like a conditional script for a database. So, I don’t have definitive answers to my questions, yet. The research continues. But if laws were common sense then, based on population trends from 2000 to 2010, several DeKalb County communities should reapportion their ward maps.
If so, when? According to DeKalb County Clerk, John Acardo, filing for the next municipal election wouldn’t be until December 2012, for the April 2013 Elections.
Interesting 2000-2010 population trends:
The town of Cortland more than doubled its population from the 2000 census to the 2010 census (from 2066 to 4270). Moderate growth was realized in Kirkland. Somonauk and Sycamore. Mild growth occurred in Genoa, Waterman, Sandwich, Somonauk and Kingston. In terms of percentage of county population; DeKalb, Lee, Hinckley and Shabbona experienced negative growth.
DeKalb did grow by 12.4% from 2000-2010 but in 2000 the city accounted for 43.9% of the county’s population. In 2010 41.7% of the county’s population lived in DeKalb.
An intriguing trend occurred in DeKalb. County board District 7 was the only district to experience a population decline. From 2000 to 2010 the district lost near 800 people in the population count. District 7 contains the city’s 1, 2, 7, 8, 10, 16 and 35th precincts. Those precincts, for the most part, are NIU student and staff dominated. Enrollment decline? Staff exodus?
In either event DeKalb needs to reapportion its ward boundaries. Sooner rather than later would invite and allow more public input into the process.