Letter: Say ‘no’ to a mayor  



156224_1718345642859_7016274_nSupport for a mayor and bringing Perry Township into the Town of Zionsville obfuscates the raw power this move would put in the hands of a mayor. The aggressive sales pitch in favor of this change sounds oh so reasonable, but delve into the details!

 This proposed change in Zionsville’s government would empower one individual, a mayor, to dole out benefits to individuals without a public process. Look at Detroit, Chicago, and Philadelphia – examples of what happens when political patronage is centralized in a mayor. Individuals can be hired, appointed or removed from positions on committees, as department heads, or as employees by the mayor. The mayor can veto ordinances proposed by the elected members of the town council. A mayor could go to the Indiana legislature and asked for legislation without public discussion or first obtaining authorization by the town council; so much for transparency.

Bringing Perry Township into Zionsville may be advantageous for Perry Township residents considering their options – joining Whitestown or Lebanon. But there is another alternative. They could try to incorporate and contract out for the services they need. This would give them a form of autonomy.

If the proposed referendum were approved this fall, Zionsville would be able to incur more debt. A municipality cannot borrow more than two percent of its assessed value. By adding Perry Township to Zionsville, that gives more bonding ability to that two percent limitation. (An aside – where is the water to come from for more development?) There will be an impact to our schools, infrastructure and tax-supported services if this referendum passes.

 We need to stick with a town council that chooses its president from its elected council members. There are Zionsville residents who have the skills and the time to devote to being town councilors, thus a president of the town council.

 Let’s opt for our current form of local government, only with more not less transparency. Vote “NO” this November opposing the change.

Wendy Brant