The 2018 legislative session is moving fast, and a great deal of ideas for new laws are being proposed and debated each day. One proposal being considered would consolidate townships with a population less than 1,200. While I believe it is important for our state and local governments to work efficiently, consolidating townships is not the answer.
Recently, I met with many of the township trustees from Warrick County, and they asked thoughtful questions and brought up concerns they have with the proposal. What if, after consolidation, a newly formed township’s population drops below 1,200?
What changes will have to be made to fire protection efforts as a result of the boundary changes? Trustees are also concerned about a lack of equal representation if townships merge. How will individuals from smaller and more rural areas be sure their voices are heard in township government?
It seems to me this legislation brings up more questions than answers, and from what I have heard and observed, I don’t think it is the right action to be taken for our area. We have hardworking trustees in our communities who are familiar with and focused on addressing our needs.
I will closely follow this bill through the legislative process to see if there are any changes that address these unanswered questions.
While there are concerns with the efficiency of local townships, and I do believe there are issues that need to be addressed, this proposal would punish the bad actors at the expense of the good ones. There has to be a better way to clean up these issues without punishing the successful townships and trustees throughout our state.