IBJNews

Senate OKs bill to eliminate township boards

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
ADVERTISEMENT