Commissioners agree to proposed redistricting plan

Published 7:43 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2022

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The Mower County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, finalized their redistricting plan for the county.

Primarily, any changes to the current districting map take place in the City of Austin where the county had to adapt to adjustments in the City of Austin’s own redistricting, which was finalized last month. Outside of Austin saw very little to no changes.

As it breaks down:

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• First District: City of Austin 1st Ward, 1st Precinct, Brownsdale, Mapleview, Waltham and Lansing, Red Rock, Udolpho and Waltham townships.

• Second District: Adams, Dexter, Elkton, Grand Meadow, LeRoy, Racine, Sergeant, Taopi and Adams, Bennington, Clayton, Dexter, Frankford, Grand Meadow, LeRoy, Lodi, Marshall, Pleasant Valley Racine and Sargeant townships.

• Third District: City of Austin 2nd Ward, 2nd Precinct, Lyle, Rose Creek and Austin, Lyle, Nevada and Windom townships.

• Fourth District: City of Austin 3rd Ward, 1st Precinct and 3rd War, 2nd Precinct.

• Fifth District: City of Austin 1st Ward, 2nd Precinct and 2nd Ward, 1st Precinct.

“It’s about the only viable [option] because of how the city needed to arrange their wards,” said Mower County Auditor/Treasurer Scott Felten to commissioners Tuesday. “It allows the county to be in the 10% leeway of the average for each of the five districts.”

Commissioners opted to keep the current election schedule the same, meaning three commissioners run one year and two run the following term.

This year, however, there are four seats up for election. John Mueller, representing the 1st District, will have to run again because of a shift in population for his district exceeded a 5% threshold needed to even out the rest of the districts.

Likewise Jerry Reinartz (3rd District), Jeff Baldus (4th District) and Mike Ankeny (5th District) also saw that same 5% shift, but they were up for reelection anyway.

Mueller will have to run for a third time in 2024 for normal four-year term.