By Jon King /

The Michigan Court of Appeals has granted the Livingston County Apportionment Commission extra time to complete its task of redrawing the county’s commission districts, although it is unlikely to have any practical effect.

When the commission met last week, they had yet to hear back from the state appeals panel on their request to extend the deadline from October 11th to November 15th. With no word on their request, they went ahead and approved a map proposed by County Clerk Betsy Hundley on a 4-1 vote that would result in Commissioners Jay Drick and Mitchell Zajac living in the same district as would Commissioners Brenda Plank and Jay Gross.

However, on Friday the Court of Appeals issued a ruling granted the commission’s request and extending the deadline to November 15th. The extension request was made because of a discrepancy in exactly when a 60-day timeframe to complete the plan began. With preliminary census data released on August 12th in response to a lawsuit in Ohio, the Michigan Association of County Clerks circulated a legal opinion that the 60-day timeframe began that day, which put the deadline at October 11th, a date that was affirmed by David Stoker, who serves as local counsel for the Livingston County Apportionment Commission.

That was followed by a notice from the Michigan Bureau of Elections, which was affirmed by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, that the 60-day timeframe would instead begin on September 16th, the date that the Census Bureau announced for the release of its final data. Per a legal opinion, the maps will be resubmitted to the state on October 18th to ensure compliance but with no further meetings of the apportionment commission scheduled, it is unlikely there will be a change from the map approved last week. The selected map will serve as the County Commission map for the next ten years.