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Bill Feehan: Redistricting map deserves support

The committee charged with creating new county board districts has approved a map that will be presented to the full La Crosse County Board of Supervisors on September 13.

This process was not without some drama. Two of first maps produced would have forced Kevin Hoyer, who was the Republican candidate for 94th Assembly, into a district with Karen Keil-Arellano or David Hunt. Another map would have created a new district in Shelby which only grew by 89 people.

Most of the growth in the county occurred in Holmen, Holland, West Salem and Onalaska. In fact 4,076 new residents now live in these communities. That just happens to be the size of the average county board district. The map approved last Tuesday creates a new 30th district that ensures these new residents won’t be disenfranchised. They will have representation in county government.

Some conservatives will grumble that we should have continued the process of reducing the number of seats on the board that was started in 2011 when the board was reduced from 35 to 29 supervisors. That was not a possibility.

Reducing the size of the board would have made this process much more contentious and time consuming. Because Gov. Evers vetoed a bill that would have delayed redistricting, the timeline for this process was greatly accelerated. Once these maps are approved municipalities must draw new wards. All of this must happen before signature papers begin to circulate on December 1.

Kevin Hoyer deserves a lot of credit for volunteering for this committee and requesting a new map that didn’t force incumbent supervisors to run against one another. Had a map like that have been adopted it would have triggered a lawsuit from the Republican Party. In the end cooler heads prevailed.

Map 30-4 creates a new district on the northern border of La Crosse County and gives representation to new residents in the area that grew in population. It also avoids forcing incumbent supervisors to run against each other.

Were Republicans in control of county government this map would look somewhat different, but they are not. This is a map that deserves support.

Bill Feehan

Chairman, La Crosse County Republican Party

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