Tales of Township Turmoil … Part 392

Eric Bradner of the Evansville Courier & Press continues his fine work in outlining the shortcomings of township government. See his latest entry here, with more expected in coming weeks.

The topic (late or not filed at all state-required financial reports) is now new; the reports for fiscal year 2009 (due in the first few months of this year) are missing in action for many. In addition to the story details, even more township trustees (nearly 400 of them) have filed to file an annual salary report. Who knows what interesting numbers are in hiding.

Here’s a brief section of Bradner’s story. It leaves one thinking — once again — why these townships continue to exist.

(In Warrick County), Lane Township Trustee Linda Orth … said she never knew she was supposed to file an annual financial report with the state and was unaware of the switch to an electronic format.

"I am still learning what I am supposed to do and not do," she said. "They change these rules quite regularly, and there is no official training."

Orth was appointed to the position in 2006 because her predecessor quit. She kept the job after that year’s election because no one ran for trustee. She later tried to resign, but said county officials told her she should wait until a replacement was trained. No one was interested.

One thought on “Tales of Township Turmoil … Part 392

  1. It is no secret that township government survives in Indiana because Legislators want to preserve jobs for their political allies.
    The situation expressed in this article, however, is unique. Ms. Orth clearly does not want the job of Township Trustee. No one else wants the job either.

    Why couldn’t compromise legislation be introduced to allow Trustees like Ms. Orth to voluntarily sign over their powers to the county government? In this way we could begin the process of ending township government. Since the process would be voluntary, Legislators would not cross their allies in the townships when voting for such legislation.

    A model for such a process already exists in Marion County. In Marion County, Township Trustees can negotiate, at a time of their own choice, a transfer of their fire department operations to the Indianapolis Fire Department.

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