BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) – A contentious debate over the political makeup of the McLean County Board ended Tuesday evening with the board overwhelmingly deciding to keep the status quo.
On a 17-3 vote, the board chose to keep the same structure it’s had for the past 40 years by maintaining 10 districts with two elected representatives in each district.
The McLean County Farm Bureau proposed drawing up five much larger districts, with four elected board members in each district.
Republican board member Susan Schafer, who represents parts of Bloomington, said she was “really bothered” because the once-every-10-years redistricting process pitted urban residents versus those who live in rural areas.
She hopes the actual drawing of the new map will unify the county.
“I’m one of those that puts country over party. I will put county over party when it comes to this kind of thing,” Schafer said.
Democrat Lea Cline, who also voted with the majority, said people’s she’s talked to expressed a “sincere deficit of trust in this process.
“So I’d like to appeal to the chairman and appeals to the members here that as we go forward in this process, that the mapping does not happen in secret,” said Cline.
She’s calling for a bipartisan commission to draw the new map.
Board Chairman county board, John McIntyre wound up voting for keeping the 10 districts. He said the public has so far had ample opportunity to have their voices heard.
“I know I’ve been extremely criticized by many people here, but I want you to know that this is the most input we’ve ever had,” said McIntyre.
The only three members voting against keeping 10 districts were Republicans Jim Soeldner, George Wendt, and Lyndsay Bloomfield.