As legislators prepare to debate the recommendations of the Kernan-Shepard report on local government streamlining, local experts from both camps are weighing in on the report’s ramifications. MySmartGov-dot-org Executive Director Marilyn Schultz says certain aspects of county government are simply outdated.
“I think the reason for the commission’s report and Governor Daniels’s real interest is that we’re no longer competing one county with the next or one state to the next, we’re competing… on a global scale,” Schultz said.
However, Association of Indiana Counties Executive Director David Bottorff says some of the township positions that face elimination serve a very real purpose in less urban areas. He pointed out there are many differences between city and county government and the two cannot be run the same way.
It’s not to say that county government is more complicated than city government but if you had a new executive come in and wipe everyone out of the courthouse I just can’t imagine it continuing to function,” Bottorff said.
Next week the Senate Elections Committee will hold a hearing on several provisions of the report, including mandating all school board elections be held in November and pushing municipal election to even-numbered years to coincide with congressional elections. Schultz and Bottorff made their comments on WFIU’s Noon Edition.