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Kane expected to reduce districts, map still under study

Published: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 5:30 a.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 10:36 a.m. CST

GENEVA – The task force charged with reducing Kane County Board districts took a step closer to resolution Monday.

The task force will have an ordinance for the full county board to vote on at its meeting this morning, but a map will wait for further review by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. The task force is charged with redrawing district boundaries to reduce the number of districts to 24 from 26. So far, District 9 will be gone and possibly Elgin districts of 18 and 19, officials said.

Redistricting Task Force Chairman Catherine Hurlbut, R-Elgin, said the county sought review from MALDEF before approving a redistricted map in order to avoid a challenge.

The organization would seek to maintain majority Hispanic voting districts based on census information and percentage of  those old enough to vote.

Kane County is 30 percent Hispanic, according to census information.

“We are kind of ahead of the curve,” Hurlbut said. “We wanted their input ... we’ll call another task force meeting after that point. There’s no sense in calling a meeting when we don’t know how long this is going to take.”

Under Illinois law, by July 1, the Kane County Board must reapportion the county so that each member of the county board represents the same number of residents.

The second issue the task force took up was how to decide which districts would be two-year terms and which would be four-year terms. All county board seats, including Chairman Karen McConnaughay, will be up Nov.  30,  2012.

“We need a methodology,” Hurlbut said. “Pick a number from a hat or flipping a coin. We do not do this until after the election.”

Board member Cristina Castro, D-Aurora, suggested a coin toss to determine whether heads or tails would be odds or evens, and which terms would be assigned to odd and even districts.

“We will do a coin toss. We still have to determine heads and tails,” Hurlbut said.

Task force member Drew Frasz, R-26, passed on a suggestion to go by whichever is the first number chosen in one of the Illinois Lottery drawings.

But board member Michael Kenyon, R-South Elgin, had another suggestion: Let a cow “choose” via cow chip bingo at the Burlington Fall Fest in September.

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