Berrien County will soon have a new map of county commission districts following a vote Friday by the Berrien County Apportionment Commission. The county currently has twelve commissioners, and that won’t change. However, their district lines will look different. Berrien County Clerk Sharon Tyler told the Berrien County Board of Commissioners Thursday the new maps are needed after each census. She noted there were population changes in the county from the previous census.
“Three Oaks City and Three Oaks Township lost a lot of population,” Tyler said. “Chikaming Township lost a lot of population. Hagar Township lost a lot of population. That is probably why you’re going to see things tighter than before.”
Tyler said the Berrien County Apportionment Commission – made up of the clerk, the prosecutor, the treasurer, and the chairs of the Democratic and Republican parties – created four possible maps. On Friday, the commission approved Plan 5 unanimously. Plan 5 includes a district that runs along the Lake Michigan shore containing New Buffalo, New Buffalo Township, Bridgman, Lake Township, and Chikaming Township. Tyler told us Plan 5 was viewed as the best for the county because it only has one minor split. The apportionment committee will meet again October 26 to give the plan final approval. It does not need support from the Berrien County Board of Commissioners.