Redistricting Plan Unveiled by DuPage County Board Committee

Redistricting Plan
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A DuPage County Board committee charged with vetting the redrawing of the district’s map reached a consensus agreeing to keep the number of districts at six, and maintain three seats per district. The new proposal would simply shift some of the district lines to allot for population changes. Committee action made Tuesday prompted the public release of the county’s redistricting plan.

The consideration of a proposal is required of the county every 10 years to account for changes in U.S. Census data, which helps inform how resources and representation are divvied.

About the Process

Under the new map, there is a less than 1% population deviation between districts. The plan has received some support from both Democrats and GOP members representing the County Board.

Committee Support

Board member Mary FitzGerald Ozog, D-Glen Ellyn, said it’s not necessary to “reinvent the wheel” as the map serves the county well.

Board member Donald Pulchaski, R-Addison, praised how well the committee worked together, saying everyone there had a say in the drawing of the map. “I don’t know how we can put something else forward if it’s been not voted in the committee,” Pulchaski said.

The map prompted its share of criticism with some officials wanting the redistricting plan to give more consideration to where incumbents live.

Ultimately, the committee supported the proposal. But the recommendation to the County Board did not come without some dissent.

Committee Pushback

County Board members Sheila Rutledge, D-West Chicago, and Amy Chavez, D-Naperville, did not express support for the proposal.

Rutledge said the county should take into consideration the plan put together by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. The forest preserve district board voted in August to have the district establish its own boundaries.

But the forest preserve district, while it is allowed to have elected officials governing separate from the County Board, does not have the authority to establish its own boundaries, officials said. They must align with the plan that is ultimately adopted by the county.

It remains unclear why the forest preserve district would go it alone trying to redraw the map.

Regardless, county officials acknowledged that somewhere along the way representatives of the forest preserve district did not feel they were invited to take part in the redistricting process.

Moving Forward

The county would like to gather input on its redistricting plan before putting it to a vote. Residents are encouraged to visit the county’s website to view the proposed map.

A series of public open houses on this topic are expected in the coming days. They will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 14, 15 and 18 at the county’s administration building, 421 N. County Farm Rd. in Wheaton.

The full county board is expected to weigh in on the proposal during its Oct. 26 meeting.

Attorney Burt Odelson said the deadline to adopt a new map is Nov. 17.

Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.

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