Local Government Reform
Porter County Auditor Bob Wichlinski eliminated one-fourth of his staff to meet his office's share of the burden for getting the county's budget balanced. That's a severe cut.
What if Hammond had three mayors? Or Valparaiso? Or Crown Point?
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.
INDIANAPOLIS | State lawmakers are expected to study the structure of Indiana county government this summer with an eye toward establishing a single county executive.
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.
As the Indiana General Assembly begins its session on Monday, Northwest Indiana's residents — and, of course, their legislative delegation — should push for this agenda:
INDIANAPOLIS | The effort to reform local government in Indiana, prompted in part by a 2007 bipartisan report that recommended eliminating townships and making other changes, appears headed for the dustbin of history.
INDIANAPOLIS | The state's most powerful business organization on Monday added its voice to the chorus of legislative leaders skeptical that Indiana can afford the 10 percent income tax cut proposed by Republican Gov.-elect Mike Pence.
FORT WAYNE | With a new poll showing his lead in the race for Indiana governor diminishing, Republican Mike Pence strayed from his well-rehearsed script Thursday and finally engaged Democrat John Gregg during their final debate.
Griffith officials aren't giving up on their quest for relief from Calumet Township's heavy tax burden. Nor should they. But state lawmakers need to look at the bigger picture, not just Griffith's situation.
VALPARAISO | After a couple of false starts, the former Porter County Jail in downtown Valparaiso appears ready to become a restaurant and home decor center by the end of the year.
Congratulations to the Indiana General Assembly for passing, and Gov. Mitch Daniels for signing, three laws that will assist in improving the accountability, efficiency, and transparency of local government. These three laws are House Bill 1003, House Bill 1005 and Senate Bill 193.
INDIANAPOLIS | Starting next year local government employees will no longer be permitted to serve as elected officials of the governments they work for.
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.
INDIANAPOLIS | Separate committees of the Indiana House and Senate have approved legislation this week prohibiting local government employees from serving as elected officials of the governments they work for.
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' final State of the State address was full of concern for the Hoosier Holy Land but absent any mention of Northwest Indiana and the other corners of the state. Hey, don't forget us!
INDIANAPOLIS | Gov. Mitch Daniels is poised to finish his second and final term as governor this year with a budget surplus, an unparalleled record of reform and achievements Hoosiers will celebrate for decades to come.
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Should Porter County Auditor Bob Wichlinski adjust wages to reflect cross-training in his streamlined office?