Tuesday, December 11, 2007


The Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform released the results of their report today on streamlining local government.

Members of the commission included former Governor Joe Kernan and Justice Randall Shepard, each of whom were co-chairs.

Governor Daniels formed the committee in July, 2007 to "recommend ways to restructure local government to increase efficiency and reduce the financial burden on Indiana taxpayers"

This sounds good but which offices will be eliminated? How many government workers will find themselves out of a job at the end of the officer's term?

"If enacted, the recommendations would reduce the number of local government units from 3,086 to 1,931--a 37% cut, and the number of elected officials from 11,012 to as few as 5,171--a reduction of more than half."

If you read the recommendations you will notice that the offices they are discussing eliminating are mainly city and township offices. Is this a prelude to a merger between cities and counties? If some of the offices are eliminated, how much access will citizens have to their councilpersons and other office holders? Saving money is always a good idea but at who's expense?

Following are quotes from the press release sent out today:

"We have lots of good people serving in local government in Indiana, but their ability to deliver great public service is limited by an antiquated system" "said Kernan"

"Among the commissions recommendations:
  • County governments would be led by a single, elected county executive and a stronger county council, to which professionally qualified administrators should report and be accountable.
  • The services performed by township personnel should be transferred to the county governments.
  • All local public safety services should be coordinated countywide and regionally where appropriate. Emergency dispatch must be centralized, at least countywide, using the compatible 800 MHz system.
  • Only elected officials should have the power to levy taxes.
  • Indiana's school districts should be be large enough to gather sufficient resources to educate our children for 21st century life.
  • All spending, including school spending should be subject to more rigorous examination by elected officials.
  • A statewide office should be designated to provide technical assistance to help local governments make recommended changes."
If you wish to read the entire report the website is: http://indianalocalgovreform.iu.edu/.