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Taking Another Look At Consolidating Township Government

Through the wonders of social media, this article from the Anderson Herald by Scott L. Miley, CNHI Statehouse Reporter (Dec 16, 2018) titled Authors of controversial 2007 report still say townships must go crossed my news-feed at a time when I have been engaged in contesting the $15 million bond in Westfield Washington Township . I wonder how many of you are aware the Indiana General Assembly tried to address this issue last year? Indy Star Reporter Kaitlin Lange (Feb. 5, 2018) House bill consolidating townships dies without a vote, despite support from House leaders

So why do we still have township government in 2019? What duties or functions do they provide that can’t be performed by another level of government? The article in the Herald suggest the county could easily absorb these duties. Fire, EMS and Parks services in our county are overlapping with the cities and county. We could merge the Parks with the County. Hamilton County already has a Parks and Recreation Department and one manager could easily handle more responsibility. Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville and Westfield cities already service Fire and EMS protection. The Townships are just intermediates. Imagine the elimination of Board and Trustee Salaries, copy leases, website management, insurance, larger than required space expenses, and the list goes on and on. 2017 Hamilton County Townships Taxing Sources totaled $20,640,814.

2017 Hamilton County Townships Spent $648,833 on Township Elected Positions. Possible tax savings by reducing management cost.

Since becoming involved in the Westfield-Washington Township boondoggle back in early October, I have reached out to several of our state legislators that represent Hamilton County to see where they stand on this important issue to the taxpayers of this county. I won’t divulge their positions, but by my whip count it is encouraging to see how much support there is for some of the objectives of Kernan- Shepard report with respects to townships. I am confident a bill will be filed in the upcoming legislative session that will renew this debate. 2017 Hamilton County Township Dollars actual reaching the hands for those needing assistance.

2017 Hamilton County Indiana Township Assistance Dollars to a Citizen

It is time to update this archaic form of government which was designed when the country used horses as the primary means of transportation. Please note this opinion is that of the author and not necessarily shared by all members of the PAC. Disclaimer: The Township data provided by the State is based on a cash reporting method and transfers were removed to provide a more transparent observation of actual spending and cost. We believe this to be true and accurate to the best of our ablity. A note about the author : Bill Smythe has been a Fishers IN resident for over 25 years and was on the Committee to Reorganize Fishers . That group was advocating for the annexation of Fall Creek township into the new "Hybrid City" form of government. He later went on to run for County Commissioner in 2016 and lost in the GOP primary to the incumbent. In July of 2017, Smythe joined with several other like-minded HamCo residents to form the Fiscal Conservatives of Hamilton County PAC .

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