The following is a guest editorial by Citizens to Reorganize Fishers…
Voters in Fishers have the privilege on November 6 not only of voting for the next president but also having a hand in charting the governance system for the town for the foreseeable future. The first thing voters will see on the ballot will be the following question – “Shall the Town of Fishers and Fall Creek Township reorganize as a single political subdivision?”
Most of the media accounts to date regarding the ballot question have focused on voter confusion about the ballot but really the choice couldn’t be clearer. Voting YES to question 1 allows Fishers become a Reorganized City and by doing so eliminating an outdated and unnecessary layer of government in Fall Creek Township. Voting YES on question 1 will save Fishers taxpayers approximately $250,000 annually through the elimination of duplicative costs and services and potentially up to $1 million annually.
Voting YES allows the Reorganized City to preserve the council-manager form of corporate governance Fishers has prospered under over the last several years. Recent accolades and recognition including Fishers being recognized by Money magazine as the 12th best place to live and Family Circle naming Fishers one of the top 10 cities for families is due in part to how Fishers has been managed under the council-manager form of government. The Reorganized City will include a nine member city council elected at large by all voters, a mayor appointed by the city council and a professional and highly qualified city manager. By preserving the council manager form of government, Fishers residents get to vote for ALL of the council members, not just one in their district.
The economic benefits of the Reorganized City as opposed to a second class city are substantial. A comparison of Fishers to neighboring second class cities in Carmel, Westfield and Noblesville reveals Fishers has 1) lower municipal property tax rates, 2) lower expenditures per capita, 3) lower number of employees per 1000 residents, and 4) lower outstanding debt per capita. After becoming a second class city (as advocated by the City Yes PAC in Fishers), Westfield’s tax rate increased by 20% and the number of employees on the city payroll increased by a whopping 40%.
The opportunity for Fishers to become a Reorganized City did not happen by chance. A committee of citizens appointed by both the Town and Fall Creek Township — Republicans, Democrats and independents — spent seven (7) months studying the options relating to Fishers’ form of government and issued a detailed and thoughtful Reorganization Plan uniquely recommending that Fishers become a Reorganized City. The plan wisely incorporates the best elements of a traditional second class city with the Town of Fishers’ current successful and conservative council-manager form of government.
Voting YES ensures the Reorganized City is run by a professional City Manager who fills department heads based on qualifications and not political patronage, political donors or familial relationships as is done in township government. Checks and balances are more definitive and deliberate under the council manager form of government than a second class city.
Voting YES on question 1 has also been endorsed by an impressive group including The Indiana Chamber of Commerce, an overwhelming majority of the Fishers Chamber of Commerce members, Hamilton County and Fishers Professional Fire Fighters, State Senator Beverly Gard (R-District 28), State Senator Jim Merritt (R-District 31). Vote YES to Question 1.