Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ballard Embraces Kernan-Shepard Commission Report

Calling it "good news for taxpayers" because it creates a "buck stops here" framework for local government, Mayor-elect Greg Ballard applauded the recommendations contained in the Kernan-Shepard Commission report to streamline and modernize local governments in Indiana. Explaining his support for its recommendations, Ballard says:

The report includes two important principles that I fully support. First, it calls for changes to make government more accountable, transparent and less costly by reducing its size, including the number of local elected officials. It also contains a recommendation I heard over and over again on the campaign trail and that is the power to tax should be limited to elected officials.

Ballard reminded us that the Commission's report is "a bi-partisan step in the right direction," not simply a Republican or Democrat idea. The report is nothing short of a God-send to Mayor-elect Ballard. If the public can convince the General Assembly to go along with the much-needed changes proposed by the Commission, Ballard can go a long way towards achieving his goals. Some of the changes, however, such as eliminating the numerous elected county officials will require a constitutional amendment, which requires the approval of two successive sessions of the General Assembly and the approval of voters. Others can be achieved statutorily during the current session of the legislature.


Anonymous said...

Gary, I believe the Constitution requires the creation of county offices but leaves the assignment of their duties up to the legislature. If true, the legislature could create a county executive and give him/her the duties now assigned to county offices. We could then elect the county treasurer, auditor, coroner, etc., and pay them each a dollar a year until we complete the constitutional changes abolishing those offices.

Anonymous said...

We have more government than we can afford, and we end up getting the government we pay for.

This report is wonderful. Just finished reading it all.

Most importantly--eliminating township governmment can save tens of millions immediately.

I don't typically agree with Shepherd--mostly because he just get sunder my skin--but the phrase he used today in the press conference that caught my ear, had to do with government structure.

He said that today's government must be leander, smarter, and isn't necessarily best-suited to our needs as it was 150 years ago. Many things have changed, most notably technology, which allows almost-instant review of proposals, documents, records, etc.

Great G'ma and G'pa used to make a day of going to the Courthouse and reviewing their taxes, drainage ditch records, etc. Now, it's all online.

We are lucky to have such a report from which to begin discussion. Tomorrow, the township assessors hold a news conference which will tell us why their sorry asses should be kept around.

Let the games begin.

Off the subject, but--Mitch and Cheri are all over the TV with ads for this college scholarship program and that health program. Cheri's is full of Carmel-type blonde white kids, and her voice is like fingernails on a blackboard. I don't know how Mitch puts up with it.

Oops--for awhile he didn't, huh?