Justice

Kalamazoo County commission gets a new map, fewer reps

A redistricting panel is trimming the county commission from 11 down to 9 representatives, raising worries about equity.

The Kalamazoo County Commission is cutting its numbers from 11 members down to just nine and the panel doing the cutting has approved a new map of voting districts.

But not everybody is happy about the plan and the county’s Apportionment Commission received a slew of letters and phone calls from all over the political spectrum opposing the move.

The commission’s only Republican member, County GOP Chair Scott McGraw, said the growing population of the county suggests there should be more districts, not fewer. The League of Women Voters of Kalamazoo Area and Interfaith Strategy for Advocacy and Action in the Community both worried that the smaller board would sideline the voices of minority populations.

Despite those concerns, the commission’s four Democratic members all voted in favor of the new map, stating that a smaller board would be more efficient and effective.

The commission will hold a final vote on the new maps at its meeting on October 18. Once approved, the new map would go into effect in time for the 2022 election.

[WWMT, MLive]