Sunday, January 9, 2011
Reneged Township Library Deal Could Signal Interesting Times Ahead in Wayne Twp
On his way out the door, former Wayne Township Trustee David King Baird passed a deal through the Wayne Township Advisory Board to utilize $200,000 in surplus funds to restore hours to some popular Wayne library branches that had been cut due to budget shortages. It was an 11th hour deal for Baird that was praised by many.
Well, hold the phone just a second.
New Wayne Township Trustee Andy Harris has decided to play Chris Christie and renege on the deal. He is not authorizing the funds transfer, and he is asking the Township Board to revisit the issue, according to an Indianapolis Star report. Harris told the Star that Baird could have signed off on the deal before he left office, but he did not. The "interlocal" deal was passed by the tally of 6-1 by the board, but Harris told the Star that he doesn't believe it lives up to the statutory requirements of township government.
This could just be the first of many battles between Harris, a Republican, and his Township Advisory Board which is dominated by Democrats. Harris is a former Ballard Administration official and longtime city and county official in many capacities. Needless to say, the battle lines may soon be drawn.
I know Andy Harris, and I believe he is a competent public official (even if he is a Republican). There are some good people also on the Township Advisory Board, and I know many of them. The question will be, can these two entities work together? It's going to be a test of township government and a very interesting dynamic to watch.