County may return to seven-member board

Barring any major modifications, it appears St. Joseph County is going back to being run by a seven-member board.

The Apportionment Commission charged with reviewing the county’s 2020 U.S. Census figures and adjusting county representation proportionately has come up with a seven-district proposal, as it was for decades prior to 2010.

Apportionment Commission members met Friday and will reconvene Oct. 6 for their third and potentially final meeting. The public will have an opportunity then to provide feedback on the proposed changes to county commission district boundaries.

According to the proposed new boundaries, the county’s commissioner boundaries would be:

District 1: Flowerfield, Park and Lockport townships.

District 2: Fabius, Constantine and Florence townships.

District 3: City of Three Rivers.

District 4: Mottville, White Pigeon and Sturgis townships and the southwest portion of Sturgis city.

District 5: Sherman Township and north half of Sturgis city.

District 6: Nottawa, Mendon, Leonidas and the north half of Colon townships.

District 7: Fawn River, Burr Oak and the southern half of Colon townships, and the southeast portion of Sturgis city.

If the boundaries are unchanged by Apportionment Commission members when they meet in October, the county commission would need candidates to fill the seats of Districts 1, 3 and 7. Also, commission chair Dennis Allen and vice-chair Kathy Pangle would reside in the same district, creating a situation that might only be resolved in the August 2022 primary election, should both choose to seek re-election.

Mandated by state statute, the St. Joseph County Apportionment Commission is comprised of Lindsay Oswald as county clerk, David Marvin as county prosecutor, Kathy Humphreys as county treasurer, Rod Chupp as chairman of the county’s Republican party and Kathy Greaves as chair of the county’s Democratic party.

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