Elections, redistricting face officials


By Dan Domsic

When the new mayor rolls into city hall after the 2014 election, it may be for a five-year term, and that was just one part of the first item the Fishers Town Council and Hamilton Southeastern School Board discussed July 10.

The council and board held a strategic planning session last week at Launch Fishers, 7 Launch Way, sharing information and discussing several issues, from the town’s efforts with legislators to make the mayor’s first term last five years to an upcoming school board race to the financial issues facing the school district.

Mayor’s race

The first item of discussion regarded the mayor’s race in 2014.  

“I can tell you that one of the legislative initiatives that we will be working on is to try to make it where the first term of the council and the mayor would be a five-year term instead of the four-year term so we don’t have to waste taxpayer dollars to do a one-year term and move forward,” Town Manager Scott Fadness said.

He said state legislators are supportive of the concept.

HSE Schools Supt. Dr. Brian Smith inquired about the town’s timeline for redistricting.

Fadness said the town is depending on outlines of precincts to be completed by Hamilton County Elections Administrator Kathy Richardson, as well as their certification from the state, though the town is doing preliminary work.

2014 school board race

Although the discussion and questions continued, representatives from the school district spoke about their own upcoming election, and later, financial and redistricting issues.

Smith said the district will have an election for four of its board seats next November, and four electoral districts must be redrawn.


From a fiscal perspective, HSE School District CFO Mike Reuter said the school has made cuts and will continue to do so as inflation is higher than the money per pupil the district is slated to receive from the state.

“We’ve cut and cut and cut,” Reuter said, “and we’re unfortunately going to be in a position that we’re going to have continue to cut in the next few years because inflation is going to outpace what we’re doing.”

He said after the school’s 2009 referendum for $5.5 million passed, the state later cut education funding by $300 million.

“Our (2009) referendum is not even keeping up with what we’ve been cut,” Reuter said.

On the district’s radar is lobbying state legislators for relief, as well as a public information campaign.


Reuter later addressed the group about growth changes in the district.

He said schools in Fall Creek are growing, but other communities within the district are getting older – or “graying.”

Reuter said if enrollment patterns maintain, the senior academies that were recently funded by referendum will be the last space the schools need to build, but the schools do not want to decline and close or operate schools inefficiently with lower enrollments.

He said HSE will have to redistrict, likely in the fall of 2014.