Monroe County Council Shows Support and Endorses Referendum

Some citizens unhappy about endorsement... calling the move a conflict of interest.

County Council 003

Photo: Regan McCarthy/WFIU

Councilwoman Marty Hawk abstained from voting on the resolution because her district is largely served by the Richland Bean Blossom School District.

Monroe County Council members are officially showing their support of the Monroe County Community School Corporation’s referendum. Council members voted yesterday (Tuesday) to pass an ordinance that explains the positive monetary benefits that such a referendum could have for the county as a whole. Councilwoman Julie Thomas says typically she doesn’t support issue related ordinances, but in this case, she says, the matter at hand could directly impact county spending.

“Now what we’re talking about is how important this referendum is. We’re not asking people to vote a certain way, but what we’re pointing out is the financial implication on our county.” said Thomas. ” Obviously there are people’s lives at stake, but a good solid education means we have better economic development in terms of the houses we sell, in terms of the businesses we attract, and also it reduces our criminal justice cost.”

But Monroe County resident Scott Tibbs who says he does not support the referendum says he thinks it ought to be illegal for local government bodies to pass such a resolution.

“What I have a problem with is when you have a ballot initiative, when you have the county council or the city council taking an official position on something that’s going to be on the ballot.”  said Tibbs. “I don’t see a philosophical difference between them endorsing Baron Hill, between them endorsing Todd Young, or any of the other candidates on the ballot.”

The county council’s resolution follows a similar proclamation made by the city council last week.

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