At its March 28 meeting, the Wright County Board of Commissioners authorized setting a public hearing for the Tuesday, April 19 county board meeting prior to approving a redistricting documents to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office.
However, it most likely will be something akin to an episode of Seinfeld – a meeting about nothing.
For the first time since the 1970 Census, all five county commissioner districts remain in the “10 Percent Rule” required by law that doesn’t require redistricting.
The rules of redistricting in state statute require that redistricting must take place if one or more commissioner districts is more than 10 percent above or below the average population of all five commissioner districts. The 2020 Census population total for Wright County is 141,337 – creating an average size for a commissioner district of 28,267. Under the state statute, redistricting would be required if one or more commissioner districts had a population of 31,094 or more or 25,440 or less.
Here are the populations of the commissioner districts broken down by cities and townships.
District 1 (Commissioner Christine Husom) – Albion Township (1,264); Annandale (3,330); Buffalo (16,168); Buffalo Township (1,883); Chatham Township (1,362); Corinna Township (2,540); South Haven (185), Southside Township (1,526). Total: 28,258.
District 2 (Commissioner Darek Vetsch) – Clearwater (1,918); Clearwater Township (1,372); Maple Lake (2,159); Maple Lake Township (2,144); Monticello (14,455); Monticello Township (3,309); Silver Creek Township (2,559). Total: 27,916.
District 3 (Commissioner Mark Daleiden) – Dayton (50); Otsego (19,966); St. Michael Precinct 1B (10,176). Total: 30,192.
District 4 (Commissioner Mary Wetter) – Albertville (7,896); Hanover (2,882), Rockford (4,045); Rockford Township (3,371), St. Michael Precinct 1A (8,059). Total: 26,253.
District 5 (Commissioner Mike Kaczmarek) – Cokato (2,799), Cokato Township (1,369), Delano (6,484), Franklin Township (2,885), French Lake Township (1,213), Howard Lake (2,071), Marysville Township (2,020), Middleville Township (1,009), Montrose (3,775), Stockholm Township (986), Victor Township (1,053), Waverly (1,900), Woodland Township (1,154). Total: 28,718.
The county intends to adopt a resolution maintaining the current commissioner districts because if changes were made, it could result in two or more commissioners being forced to have an election after two years instead of four-year terms. While the board will potentially entertain plans submitted by the public, given the cost of conducting elections, it looks likely that the commissioner districts will remain the same until the results of the 2030 Census – at which time the population disparity on the northeast side of the county may result in increasing the number of commissioners from five to seven.