The discussion is what the Commission On Local Government has to say about County Government.
"County governments should be led by a single county executive and a stronger county council, to whom professionally qualified administrators should report and be accountable. Create a clearer, more accountable structure with fewer elected officials. Better coordinate public safety services."I actually don't have as much of an issue with this as I thought I would. The only problem I could foresee would be making sure that everyone in the county felt represented on the county council and the only way to solve that would be to make the council districts respective to the townships (eg: one seat per township minimum) with certain modifications of a second seat for population counts in certain ones like Wayne, Washington, Aboite, St. Joesph, and Adams Townships (they encompass Fort Wayne and New Haven). In Allen County that would give us a twenty five seat council minimum. Then of course the City government would feel left out and God forbid if we ever fully went to a unigov system because every other city and town would be throwing a temper tantrum about not being heard at all or the fact that they were now part of Fort Wayne.
1. Establish a single-person elected county chief executive.
2. Establish a single, unified legislative body for county government. Expand legislative membership to ensure sufficient representation for included rural, suburban and urban populations.
3. Transfer the responsibility for administering the duties of the county auditor, treasurer, recorder, assessor, surveyor, sheriff and coroner to the county executive. Transfer the varied duties of the clerk to the courts, to the county election board and to the county executive. Establish objective minimum professional qualifications and standards for certain county administrative functions.Now this is where I am going to clash with this report whole heartedly and as boisterously as Saint Augustine's swine (St Jerome). Certain of these elected positions are not just office positions they are a political checks and balances that were established for a reason and should not be fucked with no matter what may sound efficient and responsible for the future.
How many people are aware that the Coroner is the only one who can arrest and remove from office the Sheriff or County Prosecutor? He is the Chief Medical Officer of the County; much like the charachters of Drs. Leonard Horatio McCoy, Beverly Crusher, Katherine Pulaski, Julian Subatoi Bashir, and The EMH Doctor (ST: OS, TNG(2), DS9, and VYGR,) of the STAR TREK sagas. You knew I would have to throw one reference in somewhere, right?
These positions are suppose to be the publics way of achieving a balance of power within the County by putting people of trust and honor in "lesser" positions in order to watch over the public interest as a whole and keep the main players in balance. Plus the last thing we need is to reverse that law that was already established to limit a Sheriff's term in office to twice consecutive terms. If the position is appointed someone could retain the office for decades. Second as it is the Sheriff's Constitutional Authority to confine and enforce and serve the courts the Sheriff is also the one who balances overzealous County Prosecutors and Legislatures by ordering the non enforcement of incorrect laws or burying of warrants until they can be mediated.
Certain positions like Surveyor, Auditor, Recorder, and Treasurer I can see being made Executive appointments; however the Assessor's position, should still be a retained elected Executive Office holder.
By appointing any of these main positions rather than allowing the voter to choose you are making government no longer either we, by, or for the people, and in essence allowing one person to bring in whom ever they choose that isn't executive it is dictatorial. If this part of the plan is ramrodded threw the General Assembly, like Governor Daniels likes to do, it should at least be modified so that the modified per Township County Council has to approve by Major Majority all appointments and require only a Minor Majority to impeach either the single County Commissioner and his appointments or all other elected and appointed positions within the County proper.
Leave the Clerk of Courts alone (*channeling Chris Crocker, not really*). Most County Election Boards are either overwhelmed or incompetent and sometimes both.
4. Retain a local government role for property tax assessment under a county assessor who is required to meet professional qualifications and appointed by the county executive.The Assessor's position, should still be a retained elected Executive Office holder who is then responsible for all appointed (jointly with the County Commissioner) Township Assessors. The County Assessors are responsible for how much each of us pay in property taxes and there needs to be someone at the top of local government that the people choose. Again it goes back to a checks and balance both politically and for the people. The County Assessor should also be the Chair of the County Tax Levy Board in my honest opinion.
5. Create a county wide body to oversee the provision of all public safety services.This one could get just a little tricky because that also encompasses fire safety which falls under Township jurisdiction not just city government. And I think I will make a separate post about this because the young men and women whom volunteer with fire, medical, and first responder services are very dear to my heart. I have not a problem with having a County Board on oversight, general administration, and purchasing power improvements; but services and the ability for an average citizen to still be able to serve, needs to be considered above any generalized or definitive improvement towards administration. The city departments need to bring back volunteers and first responders. The State needs to give permission for all VFF, EMT, and FR the permission to burn both red and blue or red and green as well as the use of sirens.
(*Insert silently homosexual innuendos*)
6. Consolidate emergency public safety dispatch by county or multi-county region. Require that new, local emergency communications systems be compatible with the Project Hoosier SAFE-T statewide 800 MHz communications system.DUH!!! Should have been done already *edits slurs* IDIOTS!!!
7. Transfer the responsibility for all funding of the state’s trial court system to the state, including public defenders and probation.The Libertarian Party of Allen County's Secretary, Douglas Horner, is a Fugitive Recovery Agent and a licensed Bail Bondsman in the State has some interesting thoughts on that so I will defer with conjunction to his comments if he ever writes them out. One of the biggest issues I have is that the crime equity is not balanced across the State and there should be a level list of fines and responsibilities for each particular offense of the penal code that applies across the board. Also judges and prosecutors need to stop with frivolous fines and judgments and quit screwing people up the ass without the benefit of lube or a reach around for a simple mistake, temporary moments of stupidity, or just bad luck. The courts have lost a personal touch and need to be smacked around a little, like having their slush fund taken out from underneath.
One major additional note that I have been bitching on about for years which recently has received some more press and scrutiny: Judges or anybody else in the "judicial system" and their immediate family should be banned from having ownership in any company (AADP?) that provides services to the citizens by court order. That is a major conflict of interest and a violation of unreasonable sentencing which also borders on cruel and unusual punishment (sometimes before even a conviction in the case of juveniles), all in the name of a profit margin, that is WRONG!!! *!!!blows!!!steam!!!out!!!of!!!ears!!!* It is time for this callous blister in Fort Wayne to be shut down once and for all and never used ever again.
Further information: (JG article) (Website)(MySpace)(You Tube)
8. Move the funding of child welfare from counties to the state.Well since they are already planning on doing a privatization plan anyway and taking away the local offices and mount the corruption of services provided to the hilt, you might as well take over the financing as well. While you are at it, please remove the policy in the Code which allows for illegal immigrants to file for benefits without being documented and forwarded to the Bureau of Citizenship Immigration and Naturalization for review. They should be taken into custody and processed for becoming citizens, not given benefits without legal standing!