Again? Redistricting still a county issue
The county board is facing an unexpected sequel to a topic that dominated discussion last summer. Redistricting is back. The process of reshaping county commission districts to match population shifts faced a legal challenge last year that was le...
The county board is facing an unexpected sequel to a topic that dominated discussion last summer. Redistricting is back.
The process of reshaping county commission districts to match population shifts faced a legal challenge last year that was left hanging and could be back in court next month.
After reviewing several redistricting options, the board adopted the plan of its choice last year in late May. But that plan was challenged by Aurora resident Jim Hofsommer, John Lukan of the Citizens Research Council, Commissioner Joanne Fay and Commissioner Dennis Fink.
A separate action asked the judge for a temporary restraining order to halt a county election based on the adopted plan.
On July 1, 2001, Judge Terry Hallenbeck ruled the redistricting plan was null and void and no election should be held. He gave the board a deadline to adopt a new plan or convince him that appointing a special panel to do so would be unnecessary.
In response, the board came up with another plan, though it was subsequently challenged. In his ruling, the judge reserved jurisdiction to resolve the matter in the future. Eventually there was a late county primary and Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer got involved. However, the general election went off on schedule.
Tuesday, county attorney Alan Mitchell told commissioners that the judge wished to bring the issue to a conclusion, and there will be a hearing on Aug. 4.
As a result of an April 29 teleconference, Lukan agreed to dismiss his objections, and Mitchell has filed a motion for dismissal with respect to Hofsommer.
"We were totally unaware of Mr. Hofsommer's objections," he said. The court has taken the matter under consideration.
Mitchell said Fay has filed an affidavit but has not filed a motion yet or any request for relief, with her attorney saying they needed more time. Mitchell said if he does not get it soon, he will file a motion for dismissal. If Fay's attorney files a motion, they will be in court Aug. 4.
Mitchell said last July's court order indicated that any burden of proof that the plan did not meet requirements would be on the petitioners. He will update the board Tuesday.