It was a good gathering, but there should be more involvement.
Those are the thoughts of Oregon Township Trustee Mark Allen. He attended the annual Indiana Township Association meeting in Indianapolis over the last several days.
Representatives from Indiana’s numerous Township governments are invited to interact with state legislators. Allen says it keeps local officials informed.
“I think that more Township Trustees should do that to help the legislators understand exactly what’s going on at home,” says Allen. “Sometimes they forget. And this reminds them of who you are and they know you by your first name so I think it makes an impact on them every time.”
Starke County has nine Townships.
The gathering was held amid legislation filed in the General Assembly calling for reforms to Township government, such as consolidation. This session is not the first time the Indiana House has attempted such a move.
House Bill 1309 – which calls for the elimination of Townships altogether; absent Marion County – was referred to committee, but may be dead for the current session.
Allen says state legislators may know their Township Trustees, but general information about Townships may be lacking.
“They, for some reason, think that the board doesn’t do anything and it really causes a lot of problems so we’ve been trying to educate them on what [the boards] do,” says Allen.
Allen says he expects a bill to be considered next year that would eliminate Township Boards.
The Indiana Township Association’s gathering wrapped up on Tuesday.