St. Joseph County Council overrides commissioners’ veto of redistricting maps

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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind.— The St. Joseph County Council has overridden the commissioners’ veto of the controversial redistricting maps.

The 6-3 vote to override the veto took place during a special meeting on Thursday evening.

The veto allows for a lawsuit to be filed in the matter.

On Tuesday, the council voted in favor of three different hypothetical maps. On Wednesday, the Board of Commissioners vetoed the maps.

Commissioners on both sides of the aisle have expressed frustration this week over the lack of a resolution.

Residents have previously voiced concerns that a lawsuit would be a waste of tax dollars. 

“Unfortunately, I think when the commissioners went to an outside legal firm to draw up their maps and came up with the maps they did that began to be a stumbling block or roadblock for us to get together as two elected bodies to try to work this out,” said Mark Catanzarite, Council Member.

Disagreements have followed St. Joseph County’s redistricting process and despite Friday night’s deadline for new maps, council members and commissioners still haven’t reached a compromise.

“There are going to be different viewpoints on how the maps should be drawn based upon if you’re democrat or republican I understand that, but the point is there has not been that collaborative effort between the council and the commissioners office. That’s what was needed from day one," said Rafael Morton, Council President.

At a special meeting Thursday, council members voted to override the commissioners veto.

Now, it may be up to lawsuits to sort the final district boundaries.

Commissioner Derek Dieter proposed mediation as an alternative, which some see as the best choice.

“My hope is that we can come together as two elected bodies in our county and do what we did 10 years ago. Do what was done every 10 years previously, prior to that, and let’s try to work together in a bipartisan fashion to try to come up with maps that are agreeable to both sides," said Catanzarite.

The council still has not filed an official lawsuit, though it’s retained legal council.


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