With the release of U.S. Census data last month and the local redistricting process now in full swing, the Oakland County Board of Commissioners General Government Committee has authorized the spending of $77,309 to redraw county board district lines.
The expenditure resolution must still be approved by the full board, which is expected to consider the appropriation at a meeting on Thursday, April 21.
Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Bill Bullard Jr., who serves on the Oakland County Reapportionment Commission, said that the costs are likely similar to those incurred a decade ago, the last time the county board’s district boundaries were redrawn.
There is an anticipated cost of $32,230 for software acquisition and another $45,079 for information technology support, according to county documents.
According to Bullard, the county is going to realize a cost-savings because Oakland County “piggy-backed” on a state contract for software, meaning the county is reaping the benefits of economies of scale purchasing.
None of the five-member county redistricting panel are being paid for their work, Bullard said.
Other members of the Oakland County Reapportionment Commission are Oakland County Democratic Party Chairman Frank Houston, Treasurer Andy Meisner, Prosecutor Jessica Cooper, and Oakland County Republican Party Chairman Jim Thienel. Houston chairs the panel, while Bullard is the recording secretary.
Bullard said the next meeting of the group will be at noon on Thursday, April 21, during which each commission member will have one half-hour to discuss with the public “why we drew them (district boundaries) the way we did.”
Bullard said the panel has until May 22 to finalize the new district lines.
The Oakland County Reapportionment Commission is required to, as best as possible, redraw county commissioner district lines so that each district is contiguous, compact and represents roughly the same amount of Oakland County citizens.
The commission is tasked with redrawing the Oakland County Board of Commissioner districts to fit with the most recent U.S. Census data which was released last month.
The state House Redistricting and Elections Committee met yesterday, Tuesday, April 12 to discuss census data so it can begin the process of redrawing district lines at the state and national level.