Brainard: No bad decision in November referenda


On Nov. 6, the residents of the Town of Fishers and Fall Creek Township have the opportunity to select their own system of governance.

Three options are available:  a second-class city, a town or a reorganized city that incorporates Fall Creek Township.

“Regardless of the system (voters want), it’s important for the public to stay up on issues,” Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said.

Nearby Carmel has elected a mayor since 1976. Brainard, a trustee on the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said there are pros and cons to each system going before voters.

“The people of Fishers have to figure out what works best for their community,” he said.

Brainard said in the past he has been in favor of annexation in situations when there are unincorporated residents within an urban area reaping the benefits of incorporated taxpayers and efficiencies in services could be had.

City Yes Chairman Doug Allman can understand Brainard’s viewpoint, but sees it a little differently.

“I’m sure there’s arguments to be made. They (unincorporated residents) use some Fishers things,” Allman said. “For me living here 27 years I’ve used Fishers parks once or twice… A lot of the rural people stay rural.”

Brainard said he firmly believes consolidation with Fall Creek will lower the cost of government overall.

Carmel was ranked the No. 1 best place to live in the United States by Money Magazine this year, with Fishers sitting at the 12th spot.

“Fishers wouldn’t be in the top 12 in the country if they weren’t doing a good job,” Brainard said.

Brainard said local officials across Hamilton County collaborate and communicate regularly, including Fishers Town Manager Scott Fadness.

“I don’t think Fishers can make a bad decision,” Brainard said.

Expressing preference by vote

The two questions on the ballot are as follows:

  1. Shall the Town of Fishers and Fall Creek Township reorganize as a single political subdivision?
  2. Shall the Town of Fishers change into a city?

If a voter desires Fishers to remain a town, that voter must vote “no” on both questions. If a voter wants Fishers to become a second class city with an elected mayor, the voter must vote “no” on question one and “yes” on question two. Under the Government Modernization Act of 2006, reorganization trumps a second-class city vote. Finally, if voters want Fishers to employ a council-manager system with an appointed mayor, a majority must vote “yes” on question one. According to the Town of Fishers, the questions are structured as per state statute.

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