Public input sought on local government effectiveness

November 01, 2007

Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform will hold four public forums in October

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mitch Daniels’ blue-ribbon commission examining local government effectiveness wants to know what the citizens of Indiana think about local government and how well it operates.

To get the public’s insights, the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform is holding a series of four forums around the state during the month of October. Forums will be held at the locations listed below. Each forum will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. local time. Free parking is available at each location.

October 8 – Gary – Indiana University Northwest, Savannah Center (gymnasium)
October 9 – Fort Wayne – Allen County Public Library
October 15 – New Albany – Indiana University Southeast, University Center North
October 17 – Franklin – Franklin College, Napolitan Student Center

Forum volunteers will participate in moderated, small-group discussions about local government services and responsibilities, key issues they see affecting local government effectiveness, and reforms they believe would improve the delivery of necessary government services. Citizens interested in participating in a forum should call 317-261-3025 or send an e-mail to lgreform@iu.edu.

Gov. Daniels appointed the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform in July, charging the panel with developing recommendations to reform and restructure local government in Indiana.

While the Commission — co-chaired by former Gov. Joe Kernan and Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall Shepard — was formed in the wake of public outcry over property tax increases, the commission’s work is not focused primarily on property taxes. Instead, the Commission is charged with finding ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of local government operations and, as a result, reduce the cost of local government to Hoosier taxpayers.

To form its recommendations, the Commission is working with IUPUI’s Center for Urban Policy and the Environment to conduct research into current local government structure, previous reform efforts, research studies, and best practices from other states.

While this research will inform the Commission’s work, a vital part of the process will be input provided by the public through the four public forums.

In November and December, the commission will begin the process of reviewing all input and forming its recommendations. The commission will deliver a set of proposals to the people of Indiana — including the governor and members of the legislature — by the end of the year so that its recommendations will be available for a first look by the 2008 general assembly during the short session.

Complete information on the Commission and its work is available at

http://indianalocalgovreform.iu.edu/