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.