GT County Commission Expanding To Nine Seats
By Beth Milligan | Aug. 10, 2021
The Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners is expanding from seven to nine commission seats after the county's Apportionment Commission unanimously voted Tuesday to increase the number of county districts based on population growth.
Grand Traverse County previously had nine commissioners from 1980 to 2010, when the number of seats was reduced to seven following the 2010 U.S. Census. The board has remained at seven seats since that time. Before 1980, the county was led by a board of 15 supervisors - containing the supervisor of each township and 4-5 representatives from the City of Traverse City - until 1970, when the format changed to a board of 15 commissioners for a decade before being reduced to nine seats for several decades. The 2020 U.S. Census prompted the Apportionment Commission to unanamiously vote Tuesday to increase from seven to nine commissioners again based on the county's expected population growth.
The Apportionment Commission has not yet drawn Grand Traverse County's new district boundaries, a process that will take place starting in September. The final boundaries will not be confirmed until state legislative and congressional districts are finalized to ensure county districts are wholly contained within the larger state legislative and congressional districts. The Bureau of Elections is offering counties a free commissioner redistricting tool to assist in redrawing boundaries. Voters are required to be assigned to new state legislative and congressional districts no later than April 19, 2022, though local precinct boundaries can take until June to be finalized.
The Apportionment Commission is made up of five members: Grand Traverse County Clerk Bonnie Scheele, Grand Traverse County Treasurer Heidi Scheppe, Grand Traverse County Prosecuting Attorney Noelle Moeggenberg, Grand Traverse County Democratic Party Chair Chris Cracchiolo, and Grand Traverse County Republican Party Chair Lisa Trombley.