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Senate OKs bill to eliminate township boards

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Township boards would be eliminated in Indiana and their duties would be transferred to the county level starting in 2013 if a Statehouse proposal becomes law.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 29-19 Thursday for the bill, which now moves to the Democrat-led House for consideration.

The bill is among several measures that would consolidate or revamp township government. The Indiana House has passed a proposal that would let voters decide in November whether to eliminate their township trustees and boards.

Critics say township government is antiquated and expensive, while supporters say it's the form of government closest to the people.

Still, many voters would be hard-pressed to identify their township leaders, let alone evaluate their performance. And questions about their efficiency linger.

IBJ reported in 2008 that former Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer’s office collected an average of $6.9 million in the previous seven years—mostly from taxes—to help needy residents, but only $2 million reached the penniless. At the same time, the office built up a surplus fund to a high of $10.4 million and accumulated a $10 million portfolio of mostly vacant properties.

Oversight of the office falls to Center Township's board, which meets at least four times a year, but meeting records show they seldom discussed financial details at length.

Consolidating government has been on Gov. Mitch Daniels' to-do list for years. Before the 2009 legislative session, he announced a series of recommendations that would eliminate thousands of elected officials at the county and township levels.

His move came after a 2007 report by the bipartisan Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform recommended similar changes, and voters in 2009 approved the elimination of township assessors in favor of a single county assessor.

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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