Scraps and Ramblings –Single County executive
This morning I wrote the following letter to the members of the Senate Committee on Local Government. They will again visit tomorrow the idea of a single county executive. They or least a minority of Senators will not give up after three years of seeking to accomplish his.
Dear members of the Senate committee on local government:
Each year since I have been elected to serve as commissioner I have faced losing the position...not from the electorate but from the General Assembly.
Each year since I have been elected I have attended this body and listened to the discussion here as to the what some consider a reform.
Each year since I have been elected have I heard in this discussion arguments that insist that alleged "reform" is efficient or that it is more cost effective and that it will perform better in the public interest. The assertions are speculative and curiously devoid of supporting data. The Kernan-Shepard report is give as substantive authority... Do you know how many sitting county commissioners testified to that committee?
Since I have been elected, no constituent has voiced an opinion that we should have a single county executive...not one citizen. The folks on our two local Chambers of Commerce and the various and not always friendly taxpayers associations have spoken not one word about the need for a single county executive.
Yet here we are again. What is the matter with this picture?
When Lincoln was in the House of Representatives, he spoke these words, "The true rule, in determining to embrace or reject any thing, is not whether it has any evil in it; but whether it has more of evil than of good. There are few things wholly evil or wholly good. Almost every thing ... is an inseparable compound of the two; so that our best judgment of the preponderance between them is continually demanded."
So Lincoln...and I and hopefully you will determine whether to embrace or reject by examining to see if there is more evil than good..
Do you see the good or evil by dividing of a county... by regionalizing control.? I see evil. In my county I and my fellow commissioners have worked diligently to bring together the regions of north and south , to bring urban and rural interests together for the common good, to open lines of communication and to encourage cooperation and trust. Happily the Chambers of commerce in both Martinsville and Mooresville are doing the same thing. But this bill would simply destroy those labors... it is evil.
Do you see good or evil by reducing the number of people elected to represent the public's interest. In my county I get phone calls nearly weekly from citizens who seek my assistance for a concern they have. I have regular scheduled breakfast where they can meet and discuss concerns. Would they feel more comfortable with a single county executive or their neighbor. I see evil.
Yet you say, lets provide a way they can decide. I do like to defer to the vote many things, but we are a republic....a representative republic . We elect those who govern us and let them govern. This governing by referendum is precisely the reason or a binding petition is precisely the reason Madison and other argued for the form of government..the manner of decision making that we have. He would be appalled with the manner that you are suggesting. Consider that if a mere 2% of the the voters in the last election could bring a petition to Tim Barry and that petition would offer the voter an opportunity to disband the Indiana General Assembly with a simple majority vote ..need I continue? I see evil.
I see that the preponderance of the evidence ascertaining good or evil on the SB 110 rests squarely on the side of evil. It is my upmost hope that you see that as well...and act upon it in that manner.
Don-- January 10, 2012