Zionsville’s unprecedented reorganization topic of legal seminar  


By Anna Skinner

Zionsville’s reorganization with Perry Township was so unprecedented it went all the way to the Indiana Supreme Court. Now that it’s complete, it will be used as an example and training tool for municipal lawyers and others interested in learning more about how the process works.

“The Future of Municipal Growth: Has Reorganization Replaced Annexation?” will be presented from 2 to 5 p.m. June 22 at Barnes and Thornburg, 11 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis. Several Zionsville officials will present, including former Mayor Jeff Papa, who is also chief of staff of the Indiana Senate.

“It’s clear (reorganization) is a powerful tool, and communities can use it to restructure government to make it more efficient and use it for other goals,” Papa said. “The seminar is to point it out to others and say ‘this is very defined now and pretty powerful.’”

Other Zionsville officials on the panel include Sam Baldwin, former Perry Township trustee and town councilor, Mayor Tim Haak and others.

“I think the reorganization part will be even more interesting because of the creative tools you can use with it,” Papa said. “We did some pretty innovative stuff … it has been very successful for us and very helpful to show other communities there are some other possibilities here.”

Nick Kile, a partner with Barnes and Thornburg, will also present.

“I … will be covering how reorganization can be used to address many of the shortcomings that we presently have in annexation laws,” he said. “Rhonda Cooke of Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, will be presenting on some recent legislation and court decisions related to annexation.”

Kile said the seminar is mostly geared toward attorneys and other professionals with an interest in the topic.

“Lawyers who have a need to get ongoing legal education can get some of their hours through this,” Kile said. “It will be mainly legalese.”

To register, visit btlaw.com.