Sun Prairie considers adding districts after decades of growth
Maps will be drawn after the 2020 census
The rapidly growing city of Sun Prairie is considering restructuring it’s city council for the first time in decades.
The city was separated into four districts of about 1,000 people in 1958. After decades of growth, the city still consists of four districts with almost 10,000 people in each of the four districts.
When Sun Prairie became a city in 1958, there were about 1,000 people in each of the four districts. Today, each district has almost 10,000 people.
— Gabriella Bachara (@GabbyBachara) January 13, 2020
“All of (the districts) have too many people in it,” City Council President Bill Connors said.
After the 2020 census, the district map will be redrawn according to population growth. Connors proposed restructuring the map to add districts, reducing the amount of people in each one.
“Every year, the city has grown in size and population, and so these districts, the number of people in each one of these districts has grown quite a bit,” Connors said.
Connors said there are many ways a new map could be drawn. One way would be to split the four double alderperson districts into eight single alderperson districts.
“We’ve already got eight alderpersons. We already got voting places. So, it would be very easy to split the city into eight districts and just have one alderperson per district,” Connors said.
Connors said another solution could be simply adding more districts.
“If we stay with the idea of two alderpersons per district and we decide to increase the number, we will probably only going to add one district or maybe two and go to a ten person or 12 person city council,” Connors said.
This opportunity to redraw the map only comes every ten years. The decision made in 2020 will stand for the next decade.
“Sun Prairie has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since the end of World War II. It’s never even slowed down, and so we only have this opportunity once every ten years in conjunction with the redistricting and the census to take a look at this issue and decide has it grown so much that we really have to have some more districts,” Connors said.
The city proposed assigning a task force, consisting of five citizens and two alderpersons, to determine if change is needed.
If the task force finds there is need for change, it would also determine the amount of districts Sun Prairie will consist of. Their decision will be given to the clerk’s office to draw the map.