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Redistricting plan approved in Suamico

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

SUAMICO – The village is expanding to nine wards for the next decade after the Village Board approved a pair of redistricting resolutions Monday, Oct. 18.

The board voted in favor of a resolution in support of the Brown County Board of Supervisors’ redistricting plan, in which the geographical boundaries for the two county supervisory districts in the village (25 and 26) will remain the same.

District 25, currently represented by Supervisor Tom Lund of Suamico, includes most of the village, while District 26, currently represented by Keith Deneys of Pulaski, includes the remainder of Suamico to the northwest, along with a portion of the Village of Howard, the Town of Pittsfield and the portion of the Village of Pulaski in Brown County.

Trustee Dan Roddan, though he supported the county plan, said he doesn’t like a portion of Suamico being cut out and included in District 26.

“I think having a (county) representative just from the Village of Suamico makes more sense,” he said. “I understand how (the county is) doing it for population reasons, but I’ve never liked it, because it’s so cookie-cutter, and there’s no real, in my opinion, reason for it… Let Suamico stand on its own and have its own representative.”

Village Clerk Michelle Bartoletti said the county map is based on population cells.

“It just becomes increasingly difficult to just use the boundaries of the municipality,” she said.

Roddan said a lot of Suamico residents living in District 26 may not realize the person representing them on the County Board “is more of a Pulaski representative or a Pittsfield representative than an actual Suamico resident.”

“I know there’s nothing we can do about it tonight, but it’s a bit frustrating,” he said.

When a county issue affecting Suamico comes up in the future, Roddan said the Village Board should invite both county representatives to a meeting.

“It’s always Tom Lund – it’s always the one representative – and you never think about the other representative,” he said. “But that (other) representative represents a portion of our constituency.”

Village map

Village Board members won’t be affected by the new village redistricting map, effective with the 2022 elections, because all six trustee seats and the village president are elected at-large, as called for in the village’s charter ordinance.

Bartoletti said Suamico’s new map, which was designed with help from the county, broke up the current Ward 8 into Wards 8 and 9, with Wards 1-7 remaining the same as they have for the past 10 years.

“We feel that the map is done fairly, with the population numbers,” she said. “It would meet our needs for the three polling locations.”

Bartoletti said each polling location will have three wards apiece, with Wards 1-3 voting at Idlewild Park, Wards 4-6 voting at the Reforestation Camp Ski Lodge and Wards 7-9 voting at Village Hall, where the central count for Suamico will also take place.

“We will be sending out notices through the WisVote System to all of our residents, telling them where their polling location will be,” she said. “If some have changed, then they’ll get notice that it has changed.”

Bartoletti said each ward had to have between 600 and 2,100 people, based on the 2020 Census, and the current Ward 8 had to be split with the population exceeding the 2,100 limit by 600.

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