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Villages' Voices Ring Loud in Opposition to County Board Redistricting

Fox Point and Bayside both approve resolution against proposed changes. Fox Point even hears from Supervisor Joe Rice.

and have joined the throng of voices against the tentative redistricting plan drawn by the Milwaukee County Board. With both village boards voting unanimously, each has passed a resolution opposing the County Board's plan to break up the existing North Shore representation.

that would include Brown Deer, River Hills, part of Whitefish Bay, six wards in the City of Glendale and nine wards in the City of Milwaukee. Shorewood and the southern part of Whitefish Bay would be part of a different district.

However, Fox Point Village President Michael West said when he thinks of the North Shore, he thinks of the which serves Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills, Shorewood and Whitefish Bay — not the City of Milwaukee.

"Althought the current supervisory district has a lot of the North Shore in it, it doesn't have all of the North Shore in it. That's the sort of thing that needs to come forward in the testimony," West said.

Bayside adopted a similar resolution Thursday and Village Manager Andy Pederson said it's a matter of fair representation.

"They're dilluting the representation, primarily in the North Shore. I think it's fair for the people to have a say," he said.

The County Board approved a preliminary redistricting plan on April 21 that would cut the board from 19 members to 18 members, eliminating the seat of Sixth District Supervisor Joe Rice, a conservative who has been on the board since 2004.

Rice paid a visit to the Fox Point Village Board meeting Tuesday night, offering his take on the future of the North Shore communities and questioning the legality of the board's new plan.

"There was no specific request that was made from the county to the municipalities for input or solicitation of ideas," Rice said.

"I think that raises a question of whether that does dilute the community of interest in the North Shore, whether you have an interest of maintaining that representation at the County Board of a North Shore group of communities as a single entity," Rice said.

He continued to explain that reworking these districts will divide them more significantly than they've ever been since the first redistricting process in 1970.

, and the Intergovernmental Cooperation Council of Milwaukee County did the same on May 9. The ICC is a consortium of municipalities in Milwaukee County.

"We are just asking that the County Board do a do-over, including our input," West said.

The ICC will host a panel discussion about the redistricting plan from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. June 22 at the Whitefish Bay Women's Club, 600 E. Henry Clay St. The forum moderator will be Rob Henken, president of the Public Policy Forum.

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