The Lake Mills City Council discussed local redistricting Tuesday, Feb. 16.
In the U.S., districts are redrawn every 10 years after the completion of the census. The local redistricting process accounts for growth patterns and communities of interest. State, county and local elected officials are responsible for supervising redistricting, municipal ward and aldermanic district creation. All municipalities, including Lake Mills, with a population over 1,000 are required to create wards.
City Manager Steve Wilke said local redistricting typically begins no later than April 1.
“The census is only a snapshot of time,” Wilke said.
He said the wards are not perfectly even because the population of the city is changing all the time.
In Wisconsin wards are used, they are also referred to as a precinct in some states or a voting district by the Census Bureau. Wards do not constitute election districts from which municipal officials are elected, and thus are not subject to the “one person, one vote” requirement which governs the formation of election districts. Instead, wards are intended to serve as administrative subunits that are aggregated into election districts of equal population. Cities, villages, and towns form municipal wards by combining whole census blocks. Municipalities are required to adjust ward boundaries following the decennial federal census to conform to statutorily prescribed population ranges and meet other requirements including compactness, contiguity, and community of interest. The wards are to be used in the next fall election in 2022.
The council discussed a way for council members to get more information about committees.
“We don’t have a great way to get this information to other city council members,” said Mike Foster, council president.
Council member Vickie Schmidt suggested adding an agenda item for councilmembers to give a report about the specific committee in question when the minutes for the previous meeting are approved.
In other business the board tabled the discussion on the $5,000 donation to a later date.