Board of Commissioners
The Sibley County Board of Commissioners officially meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month.
County Board meetings are held in the Commissioner's Board Room, located on the second floor of the Courthouse (400 Court Avenue, Gaylord MN), beginning at 9:00 a.m. Meeting dates and times are listed on the Sibley County Calendar.
The Board of Commissioners is comprised of five members serving staggered four year terms. Each Commissioner represents a specific geographic district and as a body represent all of the residents of Sibley County.
Redistricting of Sibley County's Commissioner Districts
Changes Coming to Sibley County's Commissioner Districts
By Marilee Peterson, Sibley County Auditor-Treasurer
Although the 2020 census revealed some population changes in Sibley County, they were not great enough to require redistricting of the county's five Commissioner Districts. State law requires redistricting if the population in any district varies more than 10% from the average of all districts in a county. The total population went from 15,118 a decade ago, to 14,836 in 2020; however, district populations stayed within 10% of the five districts' average of 2,967.
There is a different reason why the present districts are being considered for changes. Commissioner districts must be drawn to meet statutory requirements found in Minnesota Statute 375.025, sub. 1. These requirements include:
- Each county is divided into as many districts as there are members of the board of commissioners (5)
- Commissioner districts are bounded by township and city precinct lines
- Commissioner districts are to be as compact in form as practicable
- District populations cannot vary more than 10% from the average
- Commissioner districts are composed of contiguous territory
That fifth requirement is where Sibley County is not currently following the letter of the law. In the current configuration of the Sibley County Commissioner Districts, New Auburn Township and Transit Township, both in District 4, touch only at a section corner.
Per the Minnesota Attorney General's Opinion, this is not considered contiguous for the purposes of redistricting. The Minnesota Secretary of State also offers redistricting guidance stating,
Districts that are composed of areas that join each other at a single point are not considered contiguous.
Due to the irregular shape of Sibley County and the relatively large populations of the City of Gaylord surrounded by Dryden Township and the City of Arlington surrounded by Arlington Township, there are limited solutions for redistricting that will meet all of the necessary requirements. The proposed map
A is one of those solutions.