A new turn for town hall

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Vote on Nov. 6 the last step in process that may change Fishers’ government

In 1998, citizens in Fishers faced a ballot question that could have transformed the town into a city form of government. Now, 14 years later, the process may come to a close – but the options for Fishers voters are more complicated than a simple yes or no answer on the ballot. The following guide explains how to express your vote, as well as the implications it has on the government.

The questions appear as follows:

Shall the Town of Fishers and Fall Creek Township reorganize as a single political subdivision?

Shall the Town of Fishers change into a city?

 

How to vote

Current Government:

No on question one and no on question two is the only route to keep the government the way it is.

Reorganized City:

Two voting options render Fishers a reorganized city. A vote of Yes on question one and yes on question two expresses a vote for a reorganized city. According to Town Manager Scott Fadness, the opinion the Supreme Court case settled this March renders the reorganization question as a trump.

Second-class City:

A vote of no on question one and yes on question two yields a second-class city.

 

Type of Council

Current Government:

The current Town Council has seven members elected at large. A president is voted upon among them and leads the meetings.

Reorganized City:

The council increases by two seats and is still elected at large. The council then appoints a mayor amongst them, who acts like the current council president.

Second-class City:

Six council seats are voted upon by district, and three seats are voted upon at large.

 

Town Manager

Current:

The town manager currently runs the day-to-day operations of the town.

Reorganized city:

The city manager would continue running the day-to-day operations, which includes hiring and firing department heads.

Second-class city:

City Yes political action committee argues a second-class city can have a city manager. Fadness said a second-class city could hire a manager, but that manager would ultimately serve at the behest of the mayor and have no official duties or authorities.

 

Mayor

Current:

No mayor.

Reorganized City:

The mayor in a reorganized city performs like the current town council president.

Second Class City:

The mayor in a second-class city takes on full day-to-day operational duties, including hiring and firing department heads.

 

Cost differential

Current:

No difference

Reorganized City:

Fadness said the possible savings break down for elimination of Fall Creek Township amounts to $200,000. Poor relief becomes a department in the new entity. City Yes contends the actual savings by folding Fall Creek Township only amounts to $15,000 because of duplicated services, police protection and road maintenance.

Second-class City:

A board of public works is added. Fadness said a cost differential for running a second-class city is dependent on the mayor and what he or she plans to spend.

 

218 Savings

Town:

Nothing changes so it is not a possibility.

Reorganized City:

Section 218 of Social Security may allow Fishers to get out of paying its portion of Social Security to public safety officers, according to the town and Speaker of the House Brian Bosma, who has worked with the Fishers staff concerning the issue. It involves the dissolution of government entities and requires a similar retirement plan. If it goes through, the new City of Fishers has the chance of saving $800,000.

Second-Class city:

Getting out of 218 is not a possibility if the government shifts to a second-class city.

 

Taxes

Current:

The government continues to operate the same way.

Reorganized City:

According to the town’s frequently asked questions, a financial analysis found that if reorganization occurs Fall Creek and Fishers residents’ municipal tax rate will decrease over three years. City Yes contends the tax rate for unincorporated Fall Creek will increase and property rights will change.

Second-class city:

It is the town’s position that many factors, including taxes, will depend upon a mayor’s leadership and future decisions.

 

When it comes into effect

Current:

The government continues to operate as it does today.

Reorganized city:

Fall Creek Township and its unincorporated areas cease to exist and are folded into the new City of Fishers on Jan. 2, 2013, according to Fadness.

Second-Class city:

The earliest the new form of government could take effect, at the earliest, is 2015 after the primary election in 2014 or in 2016 after a municipal election in 2015.

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