Indiana Commission On Local Government Reform
Lake County has more municipalities, libraries, school districts and other units of local government than you can shake a stick at — and don't tell me you haven't been tempted.
Lake County Surveyor George Van Til has signed a guilty plea, saving the taxpayers the cost of a trial and prompting yet another discussion about ethics in government and government reform.
The abrupt resignation of Indiana state Auditor Dwayne Sawyer on Tuesday prompts us to remember that office will be on the ballot next November.
The examination of long-term debt at Northwest Indiana libraries has brought to light some interesting developments and a reminder of what could be.
On two issues -- sentencing reform and local government reform -- the Indiana General Assembly took a step in the right direction this year, but not far enough.
The Indiana General Assembly appears to be planning to take another look at the structure of county government this summer. It's a good idea.
I can’t believe Griffith is at it again, wanting to break away from Calumet Township.
Whiting Mayor Joe Stahua is championing the Trust Local campaign for home rule that seems to be picking up steam among Indiana municipalities. It offers an opportunity for local government reform, but are the locals willing to pay that price?
Most of Indiana's 1,008 townships have such small budgets and low visibility that many people don't even know what township they live in, much less what the township government's responsibilities are. And then there are statistical outliers like Lake County's Calumet Township.
The Portage Township trustee's office is reportedly the first township in Indiana to go to a paperless assistance program. This is long overdue step.
Having jettisoned the Hammond Health Department a few years ago to cut costs, Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. wants the city's library system to merge with the Lake County Public Library system.
The Indiana General Assembly's unfinished business includes addressing the heavy tax burden Calumet Township places on Griffith. That issue must be taken up again in the 2013 session.
The feud between the Porter County Council and the Board of Commissioners would be settled if local government reform were to be enacted finally in Indiana.
Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman's legislative agenda for local government reform should have been introduced earlier, for more thorough public discussion than this short session allows. However, there are elements of her plan that make sense.
Griffith is offering a $6 million "lovely parting gift," as they say on the game shows, to Calumet Township in hopes of being able to escape the heavy financial burden of supporting township government there each year. It is a salve but not a cure for the wider problem.
Joe Kernan is both a former and a reformer. He's an ex-governor and was co-chairman of the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform. He hasn't given up the fight.
Once again, Lake County Councilwoman Christine Cid has voiced her opinion on an issue affecting county employees -- including herself. This time it's about employee compensation.
Griffith's efforts to withdraw from Calumet Township because of its high costs should be instructive not just for Griffith's plight but for local government reform efforts in Indiana.
The General Assembly has done the easy work on implementing the Kernan-Shepard report, but now it's time to make the tougher choices. Lawmakers need look no further for inspiration than the recent news from the Lake County clerk's office.
The Griffith Town Council tried unsuccessfully in the 2011 legislative session to get the state's permission to secede from Calumet Township. Now that the frenzied session is over, it's time to look not just at the secession attempt but the reasons behind it.
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