Kane County will start the long process of redistricting by establishing a special task force, officials said Tuesday.
Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay appointed a task force to consider and make recommendations for redistricting, which is done every 10 years to coincide with the new U.S. Census population figures.
Task force members are McConnaughay, Catherine Hurlbut, D-Elgin; James C. Mitchell Jr., R-North Aurora; John Hoscheit, R-St. Charles; Drew Frasz, R-Elburn; Hollie Lindgren, D-Carpentersville; Jesse Vazquez, D-Montgomery and Ron Ford, D-Aurora.
McConnaughay said the size of the County Board might have to be cut in the next 20 years, possibly by four seats. But, the task force will be the body making the recommendations.
Kane County has not started the process nor has the board directed anyone to draw up maps, McConnaughay said.
“This is going to be done in a transparent way,” she said, adding she had heard that the issue was raised at a voter’s forum in Elgin recently.
The implication was the county had developed a map with new districts, however, that is not true, she said. McConnaughay learned that County Clerk Jack Cunningham did commission a map, however, he is not authorized to do so. Board members speculated it might have been a voter’s map. Cunningham was not present during Tuesday’s brief discussion.
McConnaughay called for a special meeting at 4pm, Tuesday, March 22 for preliminary discussion of the 2010 Census results and other issues relating to the redistricting process.
In other business Tuesday:
Forest Preserve Provides Info on April Referendum
Kane County Forest Preserve officials continue educating residents about the $30 million open space referendum on the April 5 ballot.
Forest preserve officials will be attending forums throughout the county explaining the Land Acquisition & Preserve Improvement referendum. Additional information on the measure can be found on the district’s website.
This is an ideal time for the forest preserve to expand its holdings because of low interest rates and the deals on land, Chairman John Hoscheit said.
Forest Preserve Commissioner Philip Lewis said the department has received numerous grants—a total of $2.4 million so far this year—which could be “leveraged into a lot more dollars” through matching grants.
County Honors Blizzard’s Heroes
Volunteers with the Office of Emergency Management, the Hampshire White Riders and Du-Kane Snow Mobile Club received a standing ovation Tuesday from the Kane County board for their efforts during the Blizzard of 2011.
“We are so proud of these people for doing what they did,” said T.R. Smith, R-Maple Park. “Thank you very much.”
A resolution passed Tuesday stated the volunteers battled 5- to 8-foot snow drifts, contended with total whiteout conditions and traversed roads that disappeared under the extreme snow fall yet continued to provide emergency services for more than 23 consecutive hours during the blizzard.
At one point, 66 people either found shelter or were transported to the BP gas station at Routes 72 and 47 in Hampshire to wait out the storm, the resolution states.
Jeanette Mihalec, D-Elgin, said the emergency management personnel made the difference between life and death during the storm.
“We want to recognized the significant contribution you folks made and truly thank you,” she said.