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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — Every 10 years, following the decennial national census, the Dunn County Board must redraw county board supervisory districts, although this time around, the process will likely be on hold until 2022.
Under normal circumstances, the redistricting of county board supervisory districts must be completed by the time of the Dunn County Board election in April of 2022, but it is increasingly starting to look like that will not happen, said Paul Miller, county manager, at the Dunn County Board’s March 17 meeting.
The State of Wisconsin has not promised delivery of the 2020 census information before late September, so none of the counties in the state will have time to do their redistricting, he said.
State law requires the county board to create and adopt a tentative county supervisory district plan within 60 days after the results of the federal census become available from the federal government, but no later than July 1, 2021, according to information included in the county board packet.
A Type A notice must be published for the 2022 spring election in late November that lists the current county board supervisory districts.
According to information included in the county board packet, here is the process for redistricting:
• Appointment of a redistricting committee by the county board chair at a county board meeting.
The redistricting committee will then:
• Test the 2011 county supervisory districts using the 2020 census data. The existing county plan could possibly be used as the basis for the county’s tentative plan.
• Draft plan options.
• Review and revise the redistricting plan.
• Select a tentative plan.
• Solicit municipal input from split municipalities.
• Hold a public hearing.
• Adopt a tentative plan by resolution.
After the county board has adopted the tentative redistricting plan, municipalities then have 60 days to create wards or adjust ward lines in accordance with the county board’s tentative plan.
Municipal clerks are required to forward a copy of the ward plan to the county within five days after the municipality has adopted an ordinance or resolution creating wards.
The county board is required to hold a public hearing and to adopt a final supervisory district plan within 60 days after the municipalities in the county have adjusted their wards.
After the county board has adopted a final plan by resolution, the county board chair is required to file the supervisory districting plan with the Secretary of State.
After the supervisory districting plan is filed with the state, it then takes effect.
What happens if after redistricting there are two supervisors in one district? asked Gary Bjork, county board supervisor from Colfax.
How will that affect the election? he asked.
The redistricting plan does not become official until the final plan has been adopted by the Dunn County Board, Miller said.
If a final plan has not been adopted by the time the process starts for the spring election, then it is possible the current districts will be in effect for the spring of 2022 election, Miller said.
Did the county supervisory districts change 10 years ago? asked Mike Kneer, county board supervisor from Menomonie.
“Yes,” said David Bartlett, county board supervisor from Boyceville and chair of the Dunn County Board.
Some of the districts ended up with two supervisors 10 years ago, he said.
Two districts in the Colfax area and one in Menomonie changed during the 2011 redistricting process.
Richard Johnson of Colfax, Dunn County Board supervisor for District No. 5, was shifted out of his district into District No. 1 and filed nomination papers for the District No. 1 supervisor position in the April of 2012 election, which was held by the incumbent, Donald Krause of New Auburn.
Kenneth Bjork of Colfax also filed nomination papers for the District No. 1 supervisory position in the April of 2012 election..
Gary Bjork of Colfax, supervisor for District No. 6, was shifted out of his district to District No. 7 where the incumbent was Charlie Owen of Colfax.
Owen filed non-candidacy papers for the Dunn County Board election, leaving Bjork, who filed nomination papers for the district, as the only candidate for District No. 7 in April of 2012.
Neil Olson of Menomonie, supervisor for District No. 10, was shifted out of his district and did not file nomination papers for another district.