ANDERSON – Madison County Commissioners are expected to approve the creation of new district boundaries Monday.
Commissioner Mike Phipps, who proposed the changes in the district lines for the election of the three members of the board of commissioners in July, said he will bring the ordinance up for a vote. Phipps wants the three district boundaries to be based on population rather than regional geography.
Indiana State statute doesn’t require that commissioner districts be based on population.
Commissioner John Richwine said Friday said it was fair to bring changing the election process up for discussion.
“But if we’re going to base the districts on population, why not wait until the 2020 census is completed?” he asked.
Richwine, Phipps and the third commissioner, Kelly Gaskill, are all Republicans; however, Richwine sometimes opposes the policies of the other two.
He believes regional districts have always worked well for Madison County.
“Right now, there are three distinct districts,” he said. “You have to live in one of the districts, but you’re voted on by the entire county.”
Richwine said there were discussions in previous years about changing the district boundaries, but everyone was happy with the way they were drawn.
“This won’t affect if someone is elected or not,” he said. “It is a concern that the three commissioners could all come from Anderson Township.”
As proposed, the new map would have portions of the township in all three districts.
Phipps said he’s not concerned about that “remote” possibility, noting that over the past 40 years few commissioners have resided in Anderson Township.
Attorney Jonathan Hughes said that, as proposed, the new maps would not split census tracts. The maps, prepared by MS Consultants, have the three districts aligned with populations within 1% of one another, he said.
The commissioners would have to reside in one of the three districts and be elected county wide.
If approved by the commissioners, the map will be forwarded to the Madison County Clerk’s office within 30 days.
The new districts would have the following alignment:
- District 1 (presently the South District) would comprise of all of Adams, Fall and Union townships and Anderson Ward 1; Ward 2, precincts 1 and 8; and Ward 3, precincts 1, 2, 8 and 9.
- District 2 (currently the Middle District) would consist of all of Green, Jackson and Stony Creek townships and Anderson Ward 2, precincts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7; Ward 3, precincts 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7; and all of wards 4 and 6.
- District 3 (presently the North District) would be comprised of all of Boone, Duck Creek, Lafayette, Monroe, Pipe Creek, Richland and Van Buren townships and Anderson Township, precincts 1, 2 and 3; and all of Ward 5.