Survey: Local Officials Have Mixed Opinions on Local Government Reform

May 28, 2009

Local officials throughout Indiana are supportive of non-structural local government reforms, such as instituting joint purchasing agreements, but often oppose other measures such as consolidating power under a single county executive, according to results from the ninth Indiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (IACIR) survey, released today.

More than 800 mayors, town council members, county commissioners, school board officials, township trustees, and other elected officials from throughout the state were polled between July and September 2008 on issues ranging from public safety to infrastructure needs. This is the ninth in a series of periodic surveys designed to help the IACIR and the Indiana General Assembly understand the issues that are important to local governments. This year’s survey—the first since 2006—provides a look at how local governments across the state are reacting to recent efforts to consolidate local government and reform property tax laws.

“A lot has happened since the last IACIR survey was released. These new results allow us to take the pulse of Indiana’s communities to see how they’re coping with tough economic times and meeting people’s needs,” said Indiana Rep. Win Moses (D), Fort Wayne, chair of the IACIR. “This data will help state leaders identify priorities and lay the groundwork for effective local government in Indiana.”

Click here to view complete survey results.

The Indiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (IACIR) is a bipartisan commission, established by the General Assembly in 1995, to provide a forum to plan for and address the problems that arise as increasing demands are made on state and local governments. Indiana is one of 10 remaining state intergovernmental commissions. Led by Indiana Rep. Win Moses (D), Fort Wayne, chair, and Indiana Sen. Beverly Gard (R), Greenfield, vice chair, and staffed by the IU Center for Urban Policy and the Environment, the commission studies the interaction between governments at the state and local levels with the goal of improving cooperation and service to Indiana’s citizens.