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Douglas County Board holds public hearing to determine district maps

By Jim Allen
A public hearing was held on November 17, 2021 to present the findings of the 2020 census and determine how they would affect the Douglas County Board Districts Map. The map is drawn so that all citizens of Douglas County will receive fair representation. The county’s population has varied from 19,464 in 1990 to 19,740 in 2020. The population decreased by 240 residents from 2010 to 2020. After reviewing the census data, it was determined that no adjustments to the current map were needed. 

The board also voted to increase the pay for meetings from $70.00 per meeting to $100.00 per meeting. The chair of any subcommittee will receive $125.00 per meeting and the Chair of the Board will receive an increase from $2,000.00 to $5,000.00. The Chair will also be paid for each subcommittee meeting on which they sit. The increase in pay will not take place until after a new board is elected and installed in 2022. Therefore, the board did not actually increase their pay, they increased the pay of the incoming board members. Board members are also paid mileage for any county business conducted. 

The census each ten years not only determines the boundaries of seven districts, it also calls for every district to elect their representative in the next election. Therefore all board seats will be up for election June 28, 2022. As mentioned before, this guarantees that the board cannot raise their pay while in office.

Since every seat will be up for election, the splitting of terms was decided by lottery. Three people elected in June of 2022 will be elected for a four year term then those districts will elect representatives for another four year term and a two year term. The districts that will elect board members for a four term are now represented by Phil Morris, Don Munson, and Jim Mikeworth. Districts that will elect members for a two year terms are now represented by Dick Hein, Bibby Appleby, Tom Hettinger and Gary Luth. Those districts will then elect representatives for four year terms. It is only after a census year that all seats are up for election at the same time.

Petitions to be placed on the June ballot will be available on January 13, 2022. The election of all county board members will be on June 28, 2022. The new board will be installed on Monday, December 5, 2022.

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