Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Star's Message To Legislators: Eliminate Township Governments

The point cannot be made often enough. Township governments are a big waste of taxpayer money. Let's get rid of them for good. That's the message in a Star editorial today to House Speaker Pat Bauer, who has been dismissive of the recommendations of the Kernan-Shepard Commission supported by Gov. Daniels:

House Speak Pat Bauer, as predictable as always, was immediately dismissive, questioning whether ideas such as eliminating township government, consolidating small school districts and creating a clear chain of command within local government are practical "in the real world."

Well, Mr. Speaker, most Hoosiers -- unlike entrenched lawmakers who determine their own pay and benefits and have lobbyists pick up the checks for fine dining and entertainment -- live in that real world. Last month, those real-world Hoosiers voted overwhelmingly to eliminate assessors in 29 of Indiana's most populous townships.

It shouldn't be difficult for even Bauer to understand the next logical step: elimination of township government altogether.

Townships may have made sense in the 18th century, but in an era of instant communications and easy travel, the need for 1,008 townships has long passed. The chief reason townships have survived this long is political: They serve as fertile recruiting and training grounds for party workers.

But, just as with households and businesses, the era of tight resources should force political leaders to forgo the status quo.

The Star would also like the legislature to reconsider the role of other elected county officials, such as surveyor, coroner, treasurer and assessor.


Indy4U2C said...

The total elimination of Township government is long overdue!

Just look at the corruption in Center Twp, where the Trustee received an average of $6.9 million in TAX dollars, yet only gave about $2 million going to poor relief. -The rest goes to political patronage/administrative costs...

Eliminate Township Government! We cannot continue to allow this TAX AND SPEND machine to continue!

Neal Taflinger said...

Streamlined Hoosier government? That's unpossible.

Jon E. Easter said...

Township government should be eliminated if it's best for the township. I'm not convinced that is the way to go in every township across the state, but I think most of them in the Indianapolis area should go.

I would not go as far as looking at the county offices though. I still think there is room for these elected officials to avoid a huge and bloated Mayor's Office.