Second-class city transition in its infancy

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The political turmoil leading up to the vote changing Fishers into a second-class city is over, but the process to make that transition happen is just beginning.

One of the upcoming elections will change the power structure of the town.

“Obviously we’re going to do what the state statute tells us to do,” Town Manager Scott Fadness said. “We’ve already identified a lot of that. Really, the first step would be council deciding whether they want to do it in 2014, start in ‘15 or 2015 and start in ’16.”

When the Town of Fishers shifts to second-class city status, a popularly-elected mayor will be in charge. The other big change, besides the elimination of an elected clerk-treasurer and appointment of a controller, is at the council level. Six council seats will be voted on by each district and an additional three will be voted upon at-large – a major departure from today’s seven-member town council.

New boards will also be added to the mix.

“There’s really no ‘oh my God we need to get this done this minute,’ so I think everybody is just kind of letting the dust settle,” Fadness said. “Let’s everybody take the emotion out of it. It was a very emotional issue.”

He said the first step is for the council to pass an ordinance setting the date.

Leading up to the first day of office for the new mayor, the town of Fishers will continue to tow the line.

“Prior to that, the government has to continue to function until that time,” he said.

Fadness said more information on the transition will most likely be available in the next couple months.

He said he didn’t have all the answers this early in the game for the council’s transition process.

“It can get ugly in that re-districting fight, there’s no doubt about that,” Fadness said, “but we’ll see… There’s other work that needs to be done and continued to work on, and that’s what at least the 400 employees that are here worry about.”


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