The Racine Common Council is unanimously backing a resolution that denounces the legislature for its decision to toss existing rules about redistricting out the window. The plan approved by lawmakers last month would created five of eight new city wards below the legal threshold, and cost taxpayers more money each election for the next ten years. Council President Greg Helding noted the legislature’s decision chops several city wards into “little bits,” including one with just 84 people, which he says is not legal. “If there’s too few people in a ward you could run the risk of your ballot not being secret,” said Helding.
Alderman Q.A. Shakoor called the legislature’s move a state tax increase. “We have to get more polling places, we have to get more staffing,” he said. Language suggesting legal action was meant to include the possibility of joining with other communities in fighting the changes, according to City Administrator Tom Friedel. “We wouldn’t necessarily have to be the initiator, but we could certainly support other communities that have decided to file suit,” he said. The Racine council’s resolution also notes that local control is taken away with the legislature’s move.
Tom Karkow, WRJN