Redistricting lines are approvedWORTHINGTON — Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a redistricting plan that looks most similar to the district boundaries currently utilized — leaving four commissioner districts to serve portions of the city of Worthington.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a redistricting plan that looks most similar to the district boundaries currently utilized — leaving four commissioner districts to serve portions of the city of Worthington.
While the decision seemed rather clear-cut among commissioners, there was a definite dividing line when it came to deciding which districts would campaign this year for a two-year seat and which districts would campaign for a four-year term.
The terms need to be staggered to avoid all commissioners campaigning in one year.
The two-year terms, when they come up for reelection, would then become a four-year term.
Commissioner Diane Thier led off with a motion requesting Commissioner Districts 2 and 5, currently served by her and Vern Leistico, respectively, should be the four-year terms since those offices were slated for reelection this year anyway.
Leistico, who has already announced he will not seek reelection, provided the second for the motion, but it failed on a 2-3 vote.
“The other alternative framing is that the three commissioners, including myself, have just won four-year terms and are now being forced again to run,” said Commissioner and board chair David Benson.
Bob Demuth Jr. then moved to set Districts 2 and 5 as two-year terms and Districts 1, 3 and 4 to four-year terms.
Benson provided the second and the motion passed, 3-2, with Demuth, Benson and Commissioner Marv Zylstra voting in favor of the terms.
As for the new district boundaries, Zylstra said it was “almost a perfect plan.”
“Two come from within the city of Worthington and two have 60 percent city and 40 percent rural (constituents),” he added. “We know in 10 years, inevitably, it’s going to be three from the city of Worthington.”
“Almost 80 percent of the revenue comes from outside the city of Worthington,” Thier said. “I hate to see that much authority coming from within the city of Worthington.”
“Even though we do represent a particular district, we all represent Nobles County,” Zylstra added. “We’re looking for what’s best for Nobles County.”
Under the new districts, Commissioner District 1, currently served by Zylstra, will include Elk, Graham Lakes, Hersey, Indian Lake, Lorain, Seward and Summit Lake townships, as well as the cities of Brewster, Dundee, Kinbrae, Round Lake and Ward 1, Precinct 5 in the city of Worthington.
District 2, currently served by Thier, will include Bloom, Larkin, Grand Prairie, Leota, Lismore, Little Rock, Olney, Westside and Wilmont townships, as well as the cities of Adrian, Ellsworth, Lismore and Wilmont.
District 3, currently served by Benson, will include Bigelow, Dewald, Ransom and Worthington townships, and the cities of Bigelow, Rushmore, and Ward 1, Precincts 2 and 3 of the city of Worthington.
District 4, currently served by Demuth, will include Ward 1, Precinct 1 and Ward 2, Precincts 1 and 3 in the city of Worthington.
District 5, currently served by Leistico, will include Ward 1, Precinct 4 and Ward 2, Precincts 2, 4 and 5 in the city of Worthington.
Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.