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Lawmaker cries foul over Fishers vote endorsement

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A state lawmaker is taking issue with a group that backs a new "hybrid city" government in an Indianapolis suburb and says she never endorsed the plan.

Republican Sen. Beverly Gard of Greenfield said she never endorsed a proposal under which Fishers would reorganize to a city with an appointed mayor and at-large council. Gard was listed as a supporter of the plan in mailers sent to Fishers residents.

Fishers, a community of 80,000 northeast of Indianapolis, is asking voters Tuesday to choose from one of three options: continue as a town run by seven council members and a town manager, reorganize as a city in combination with Fall Creek Township and have a council that chooses a mayor and hires a city manager; or become a second-class city with nine council members and an elected mayor.

The ballot questions that will resolve the issue are so complicated that it's taking an educational effort by supporters and opponents to help residents know which way to vote.

The proposal has divided residents. Signs supporting and opposing the move to become a city have popped up across town, and a lobbying group has filed a complaint with the state accusing the town of trying to steer residents toward the appointed mayor option.

Gard told The Indianapolis Star she thinks the "hybrid" city form of government would disenfranchise voters.

"I am really uncomfortable with the appointed mayor," said Gard, a 24-year lawmaker whose district reaches from Greenfield to Fishers. "I am also uncomfortable with the fact that council members, although they package it as running from districts, are voted on at large.

"I think that has the effect of disenfranchising people in a district, preventing them from picking the person they want."

Wayne Crane, who leads the Fishers reorganization effort, said Gard's image would be removed from websites promoting the option but disagreed with Gard's contention that a hybrid form of government would hurt voters.

"I think it's more representative and democratic to be able to vote for all of them," he said.

Gard said she expressed support for a part of the proposal that would eliminate township government but never agreed to be an official endorser. Her image appeared on the group's website, Facebook page and on postcards sent to area homes.

"They did not ask permission to do that," Gard said. "I think it's pretty bad policy. You don't go around doing that without letting people know."

Crane said he took Gard's communication as an endorsement but apologized for the mix-up, saying it was "inappropriate for us to move forward."

Crane, a Fishers investment banker, has argued that the hybrid is the best option and would eliminate township positions and save residents money.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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