Linn County redistricting inches closer to state approval

Vote on three-district plan could come Wednesday

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CEDAR RAPIDS — The Linn County Board of Supervisors is nearing a recommendation for a three-member board representation plan.

The board on Monday discussed a representation plan — dubbed Plan 2 — recommended to them earlier this year by the county’s temporary redistricting committee. The board could vote as soon as Wednesday at the Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center, 935 Second St. SW, Cedar Rapids, to send that plan to the Iowa secretary of state for final approval.

Plan 2 divides Cedar Rapids with the south half making up one district and the north half grouped with Hiawatha and Robins into a second district. It places Marion in a third district with the rest of the outlying rural areas and townships of Linn County. It was approved last month by a 3-2 vote by the county’s temporary redistricting committee.

A final plan must be adopted by Feb. 15, per Iowa Code.

Supervisors have the option of denying the plan, but only if they feel it does not comply with state rules, said Darrin Gage, Linn County director of policy and administration.

Earlier this year, the redistricting committee directed Linn County GIS staff to map out four draft plans that provided different options for a three-district county. Committee members have said all four drafts meet state rules for redistricting. Plan 2 ultimately was the selected option.

The terms for all five current supervisors expire at the end of next year. Voters in November 2018 will select three supervisors to form a new board starting in January 2019.

If Plan 2 is adopted and everyone runs for re-election, current supervisors Brent Oleson and John Harris may be competing for a seat on the board. Supervisors Stacey Walker and James Houser may have to campaign against each other, as might current supervisor Ben Rogers and potential candidate and current Linn County Auditor Joel Miller.

l Comments: (319) 339-3175; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

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