Friday, January 18, 2013

Young's Huge Bill Would Change City-County Government

Senator Mike Young filed a mammoth bill that will fundamentally change City-County government in Marion County if it passes.

Young's bill is so full of various provisions that it's really hard to even put into one blog post everything that it would change.  The biggest change is that it would eliminate the At-Large City-County Council seats and only keep the district-level seats.  Currently, four Democrats hold the At-Large seats and that nets a 16-13 majority on the Council.  Republicans hold a 13-12 majority in the 25 district seats.

The quick rundown goes like this.  The bill, numbered SB0621, would also remove Council oversight of Mayoral Director and Deputy Director appointments.  It would remove County Commissioner appointments on the Metropolitan Development Commission while giving the Mayor two more.  It would officially place the IMPD under the Department of Public Safety and the Public Safety Director.  It would give the Controller the ability to allot appropriated funds to city/county departments.  It would eliminate the possibility of CIB PILOT payments.  The bill would allow the Mayor to reduce or modify separate items of an ordinance appropriating money or a tax.  This is only a part of it.  It would change the amount of time someone must live in Indianapolis before being eligible for running for Mayor or how long someone would have to live in a district before running for City-County Council.

Here's a link to the bill.

Where to begin?  It's pretty easy.  Almost everything in this bill is designed to reduce the power of Democrats in Marion County.  From reducing the power of the County Commissioners (the Marion County Treasurer, Assessor, and Auditor) to deleting the At-Large seats on the Council, this bill would, as it stands now, reduce the power of the City-County Council in one majorly blue county.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  After all, it's Mike Young who filed the bill.  You won't find many more partisan members of the Indiana Senate.


Paul K. Ogden said...

I would point out that when Director Straub was up last time the administration claimed that the Council's vote on Straub was merely avisory in nature. I reviewed the statute and the administration was clearly wrong in that claim and pointed out how the law would logically be interpreted. Yet the claim persisted. If it was true the Council doesn't have any power to approve directors and others, then there would be no need to change the law to take that power away.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, Who do the At-large seats represent?
What are the responsibilities of At-large council members?
Why do we have At-large council members?

I would truly like to know as I cannot find the info on Indygov.

IndyDem said...

Paul, you could drive a semi truck, a 20 mule team, 2 elephants, 1 goat and a pride of lions from the African Interior between what the administration says and the actual facts.

Jon Easter said...

The At-Large Councillors represent the entire county rather than just a district. Their responsibilities are the same as those at the district level just that their constituency is larger. The four At-Large seats were added as part of the UniGov legislation.