INDIANAPOLIS | Whiting Mayor Joe Stahura and mayors across the state have a message for the Indiana General Assembly — trust us.
"There's some decisions that belong on the local level that should never make it to the Statehouse, and every year we see a disturbing trend of the Statehouse taking ownership of problems we should solve locally," Stahura said. "Let us handle the local stuff at home."
The Indiana Conference of Mayors plans to push its Trust Local message when the Legislature convenes in January. The aim is educating Hoosiers and reminding lawmakers of the differences between state and local government. Stahura is president of the bipartisan mayor's group.
"We're not trying to pit one level of government against another. We want to work together to make sure our voices are heard," Stahura said.
He said the mayors are particularly concerned about such issues as the declining funds for local roads, the lack of local tools to clean up abandoned or foreclosed properties and the availability of ingredients used to make methamphetamine.
The group plans to seek a new distribution of state gas tax revenue, a law permitting cities to charge banks fees for lawn cutting and other services at bank-owned homes and a requirement that pseudoephedrine — a key component of meth — is available only with a prescription.
"Our goal is to make sure lawmakers at the Statehouse understand that some of their decisions have significantly hurt local communities, and we want to make sure they take local input seriously," Stahura said.