A new turn for town hall
Vote on Nov. 6 the last step in process that may change Fishers’ government
In 1998, citizens in Fishers faced a ballot question that could have transformed the town into a city form of government. Now, 14 years later, the process may come to a close – but the options for Fishers voters are more complicated than a simple yes or no answer on the ballot. The following guide explains how to express your vote, as well as the implications it has on the government.
The questions appear as follows:
Shall the Town of Fishers and Fall Creek Township reorganize as a single political subdivision?
Shall the Town of Fishers change into a city?
How to vote
No on question one and no on question two is the only route to keep the government the way it is.
Two voting options render Fishers a reorganized city. A vote of Yes on question one and yes on question two expresses a vote for a reorganized city. According to Town Manager Scott Fadness, the opinion the Supreme Court case settled this March renders the reorganization question as a trump.
A vote of no on question one and yes on question two yields a second-class city.
Type of Council
The current Town Council has seven members elected at large. A president is voted upon among them and leads the meetings.
The council increases by two seats and is still elected at large. The council then appoints a mayor amongst them, who acts like the current council president.
Six council seats are voted upon by district, and three seats are voted upon at large.
The town manager currently runs the day-to-day operations of the town.
The city manager would continue running the day-to-day operations, which includes hiring and firing department heads.
City Yes political action committee argues a second-class city can have a city manager. Fadness said a second-class city could hire a manager, but that manager would ultimately serve at the behest of the mayor and have no official duties or authorities.
The mayor in a reorganized city performs like the current town council president.
Second Class City:
The mayor in a second-class city takes on full day-to-day operational duties, including hiring and firing department heads.
Fadness said the possible savings break down for elimination of Fall Creek Township amounts to $200,000. Poor relief becomes a department in the new entity. City Yes contends the actual savings by folding Fall Creek Township only amounts to $15,000 because of duplicated services, police protection and road maintenance.
A board of public works is added. Fadness said a cost differential for running a second-class city is dependent on the mayor and what he or she plans to spend.
Nothing changes so it is not a possibility.
Section 218 of Social Security may allow Fishers to get out of paying its portion of Social Security to public safety officers, according to the town and Speaker of the House Brian Bosma, who has worked with the Fishers staff concerning the issue. It involves the dissolution of government entities and requires a similar retirement plan. If it goes through, the new City of Fishers has the chance of saving $800,000.
Getting out of 218 is not a possibility if the government shifts to a second-class city.
The government continues to operate the same way.
According to the town’s frequently asked questions, a financial analysis found that if reorganization occurs Fall Creek and Fishers residents’ municipal tax rate will decrease over three years. City Yes contends the tax rate for unincorporated Fall Creek will increase and property rights will change.
It is the town’s position that many factors, including taxes, will depend upon a mayor’s leadership and future decisions.
When it comes into effect
The government continues to operate as it does today.
Fall Creek Township and its unincorporated areas cease to exist and are folded into the new City of Fishers on Jan. 2, 2013, according to Fadness.
The earliest the new form of government could take effect, at the earliest, is 2015 after the primary election in 2014 or in 2016 after a municipal election in 2015.