Washtenaw Board Shrinks to 9 Districts

At its May 11, 2011 meeting, the Washtenaw County apportionment commission voted unanimously to adopt a redistricting plan that divides the county board of commissioners into 9 districts. [Update: .pdf file of adopted 9-district plan.]

Redistricting occurs every 10 years, based on population changes determined by the U.S. census. There are currently 11 districts represented on the county board of commissioners, including four in Ann Arbor. The new plan puts incumbent Democratic commissioners Leah Gunn and Yousef Rabhi into the same district – the new District 8 in Ann Arbor. It also puts incumbents Alicia Ping, a Republican, and Democrat Wes Prater into the same district – the new District 3, covering south and southwestern Washtenaw County.

Until today, only two plans had been offered: one for 9 districts, another for 12. However, just hours before Wednesday’s 5:30 p.m. meeting, several new plans were submitted for consideration. In total, 11 plans were considered by the commission – for 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 21 districts.

The five-member commission voted to adopt the 9-district plan following votes on a 12-district and an alternative 9-district plan – but neither of those plans received a majority of the votes. Members of the reapportionment commission are the county clerk (Larry Kestenbaum), county treasurer (Catherine McClary), prosecuting attorney (Brian Mackie), county Democratic Party chair (Cleveland Chandler), and Republican Party chair (Mark Boonstra).

For additional background about the redistricting process, see Chronicle coverage: “No Decision Yet on County Redistricting,” “County Board Districts Likely to Change,” “Public Gives Input on County Redistricting,” “Washtenaw Redistricting Work Begins” and “County Clerk Outlines Redistricting Process.”

This report was filed from the apportionment commission meeting in the lower-level conference room of the county building at 200 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor. A more detailed report will follow: [link]