Local Government Consolidation; Governor's Commission comes to Fort Wayne

By Nicole Pence

June 18, 2010 Updated Oct 10, 2007 at 11:10 AM EDT

Could a "one size fits all" mantra be the best approach for local government reform? Hoosiers to tackle Governor Mitch Daniels wants Hoosier residents to answer that questions.

Tuesday night members of the Governor's blue-ribbon commission met in Fort Wayne, asking citizens what they think about ways local government can be changed for the better. A difficult task, but the Governor says he's determined to find solutions.

In a public forum, citizens sat in focus groups at the Allen County Public Library. The Commission is traveling around the state this week and next to compile feedback. A wide-range of ideas voiced... including consolidating emergency call centers, making state agencies more user-friendly, increasing state education in schools so students better learn how government is run, and making leaders-appointed to governmental boards more accountable.

But, others were hesitant about a "one size fits all" approach. For instance, they argued libraries shouldn't be slimmed down. And... If the state wants to move forward with consolidating government, they should make changes at the top, first.

John Stafford/Indiana Commission on Local Govt. Reform: "Our charge from the Governor was to come up with a series of recommendations by the end of this calendar year in december. Report back to the governor and to the citizens. What might occur will have to be approved by the indiana general assembly, so they have in many respects the final say."

Shirley Glade/North Manchester: "It's so easy to say we want to cut cost. But, people don't stop and think that cutting costs often mean cutting services and how to prioritize what we want for our governments."

If you have comments for the commission:
Website: http://indianalocalgovreform@iu/edu
Email: lgreform@iu.edu
Hotline: 1-317-261-3025

A full-report will be submitted to the Governor by the end of the year, and then, it's in the hands of state lawmakers.

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