Local News

New La Salle County redistricting map stands: Plan won’t be torn up

Attorney tells board they missed a key deadline

La Salle County’s recently-adopted, disputed county board district map stands. Though some members believe the recent redistricting dealt them a bad hand, it’s too late to do anything.

Attorney Pat Herrmann advised the board Thursday a key deadline had passed and the board no longer has the opportunity to rescind the redistricting map adopted in November and to start from scratch.

“No action could be taken because any action on redistricting had to be done by Dec. 31,” Herrmann said, “and we’re past that.”

And that marks the end of an effort to reverse a redistricting program that pits several sitting incumbents against one another.

As previously reported, the November vote (based on data from the 2020 Census) would set up potentially four contests between sitting members. (Actually, five districts were so affected; but Randy Freeman, of Lostant, is retiring. His district will be merged with fellow Republican Tina Busch, of Tonica.)

That map was adopted 24-4 but then, last month, the board proposed rescinding the map and taking another crack at redistricting. The board instead voted 16-12 to table it, with five Republicans joining the majority, and that vote effectively pushed the question past the Dec. 31 deadline. The map stands.

“There is no action to take so I recommend we move on with the rest of the agenda,” said board member Douglas Trager (D-Ottawa).

Now that the map is settled, voters also will know the sequence of terms.

Clerk Lori Bongartz oversaw a bipartisan drawing for what duration board members will serve terms over the next 10 years. The two options were a two-year term followed by a pair of four-year terms or a pair of four-year terms followed by a two-year term.

Those serving for a two-year term followed by four year terms are: Curtis Faber (R-Mendota), Lou Anne Carretto (D-Ottawa), JoAnne McNally (R-Mendota), Joe Savitch (D-La Salle), Jerry Myers (R-Streator), Ron Blue (R-Streator), Walter Roach (R-Streator), Douglas Trager (D-Ottawa), David Torres (D-Oglesby), Charles Borchsenius (R-Sheridan), Allen Erbrederis (R-Somonauk), Tom Walsh (D-Ottawa), Gary Small (R-Utica), Randy Freeman (R-Lostant).

Those serving two four-year terms followed by a two-year term are: Elmer Walter (R-Grand Ridge), Kindra Pottinger (R-Sheridan), Robert Lee (D-Seneca), Mike Kasap (D-La Salle), Jerry Hicks (D-Marseilles), Jill Bernal (D-Peru), Doug Stockley (R-Earlville), Craig Emmett (R-Wedron), Brian Dose (D-Ottawa), Catherine Owens (R-Somonauk), Joe Witczak (D-Peru), Thomas Green (R-Streator), Tina Busch (R-Tonica), Joe Oscepnski (D-Peru), Arratta Znaniecki (R-Ottawa).

In other matters, the board:

  • Honored student award winners Zoe Morris of the Tonica Community Consolidated School District and Ethen Swords of Ottawa Township High School
  • Approved a collective bargaining agreement between Laborers International Union of North America, Local Union 393 and the Highway Department
  • Reconvenes Feb. 10