Town council talks electing a mayor, joining with Perry Township
By Sophie Pappas
With more than 25,000 residents and an increased burden on local government, Zionsville Town Council President Jeff Papa is saying it’s time for a change.
During an executive session of the town council on April 21, which was announced only days before, tensions rose during a lengthy discussion on reorganizing the town. Papa presented plans for Zionsville to join in a partnership with Perry Township in an effort for Zionsville to expand and elect a mayor.
The council voted 5 to 1, to pass the first hearing of the resolution to adopt Perry Township.
If the second resolution is approved, Perry Township is on track to become part of the Town of Zionsville, a municipality.
Councilman Tom Schuler is adamantly against the partnership, saying that Papa should have consulted with council members when the idea to join with Perry Township was still in the conceptual stage.
“When you are looking at expanding the town by 40 percent, it doesn’t seem like a good idea to rush through it,” Schuler said.
Indiana State Law justifies electing a mayor when a town becomes a city or reorganizes with a local corporation. For Zionsville, this could mean partnering with Zionsville Community School Corporation or even Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Library. Both of these groups declined Papa’s offer to reorganize with the town.
“[The library] was concerned about losing control,” Papa said. “They decided they weren’t ready for this.”
Perry Township, on the other hand, realized long ago that their community of 1,100 rural farmers would eventually need to join with Lebanon, Whitestown or Zionsville.
According to Papa, the Perry Township Board of Trustees settled on Zionsville because of its lower rural-district tax rates.
On April 14, the Perry Township board approved a resolution to join with Zionsville. It is now up to the Zionsville Town Council to decide whether or not Zionsville is ready for the merge.
The council will meet for a work session at 6:30 p.m., April 24 at Town Hall.
For more on this story, read next week’s Current in Zionsville.