Panel doubles down on reducing number of Kzoo Co.commission seats

Kalamazoo County
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KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The commission tasked with setting districts on the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners has doubled down on its intent to reduce the number of districts from 11 to nine. 

The Kalamazoo County Apportionment Commission met virtually Wednesday afternoon to discuss the mapping process. Four maps were submitted for discussion by the commission.

Kalamazoo County Clerk Meredith Place, Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Getting and Kalamazoo County Democratic Party Chair Mariah Phelps all submitted maps with nine districts.  

Kalamazoo County Treasurer Thomas Whitener submitted a map keeping the current 11 districts.  Kalamazoo County Republican Party Chair Scott McGraw did not submit a map for consideration.   

Commissioners talked about a desire to keep townships and municipalities whole as they drew the maps but also looked at school districts and a way to group the new districts.   

Before the meeting adjourned, Getting put a motion on the table to only move forward the three maps drawn with nine districts thereby eliminating the possibility of the 11-district map drawn by Whitener.   

The motion passed 4-1 with McGraw being the lone no vote.

The commission’s push to reduce the districts from 11 to nine has drawn the ire of current county commissioners and the public.

The Apportionment Commission says it is reducing the number of districts to keep municipalities whole in the redistricting process.   

The final scheduled meeting for the Apportionment Commission is at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 6. The meeting will be held on Zoom and stream on Public Media Network. 

Residents who would like to leave a recorded comment can call 269.383.8635. You’re asked to say your name, where from and leave your comment under three minutes. The line will be open until 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Once the map is approved it will be in effect for 10 years.   

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