By Shereen Siewert

The Marathon County Board of Supervisors is eyeing a plan that would cut the number of supervisory districts in half, an effort to replace financial support to local nonprofit organizations that will otherwise lose funding in 2020.

Marathon County’s funding for The Women’s Community, United Way, Crime Stoppers, the Boys and Girls Club and the Marathon County Historical Society will be phased out beginning with a 25 percent cut in 2020. Each of Marathon County’s 38 supervisors currently earns $5,597 per year, which means the reduction would save an annual $106,343 in salary expenses plus mileage.

The proposed change would be effective as of April 2020, coinciding with the spring election. The proposed plan was presented Monday to the executive committee for consideration, but would need to garner full board support before Nov. 15 if the change is implemented in time for the election.

The Marathon County Board of Supervisors is the governing board of the county, functioning as the policy-making and legislative branch of county government. Supervisors, each of whom represent a roughly equal amount of county residents, are elected in the spring for a two-year term in a non-partisan election.

Under state law, outside of federal redistricting requirements after a census, a county can reduce its board size once under its own initiative between regular 10-year redistricting. Current law also allows electors to reduce their board sizes by petition and the referendum process.

Marathon is one of 10 counties in the state with 30 or more supervisors, and at 38 has the largest board in the Wisconsin. Jefferson and Marinette County have 30; Green, Oconto and Sauk counties have 31; Dodge County has 33; Outagamie and Winnebago counties have 36; and Dane County has 37.

Some counties have downsized. In 2007, Walworth County reduced its size from 25 to 11 members. Likewise, Polk County went from 23 to 15, Monroe County dropped from 24 to 16, and Washington County went from 30 to 26 supervisors. Jefferson County considered reducing its board size in February, but later rejected the idea.

The proposed redistricting would result in the following:

See the full map, embedded below.Redistrict Map Marathon Co