In the last decade, the Town of Fishers has grown from 15,000 to nearly 80,000 people. Some say it's time for a full-time government. But others say if it ain't broke, reorganize.
The town council is hosting a series of public meetings to clear out the confusion. A reorganized city would merge the Town of Fishers with Fall Creek Township. It would also expand the council from seven members to nine members. The mayor, like the Town President, would be elected by the Council. Council members would be elected at-large.
"I'm just concerned about how the money will be managed and the political influence that may come with a change," said Cathy Taylor, a Fishers resident. "I really love the area. I love the way things are being run."
But opponents say it's time for a full-time mayor, one chosen by voters. A second-class city would elect a mayor who will have central authority to enforce city ordinances or state statutes. Council members would be represented by district.
"Our concern was district representation," said Bill Kehl, who's lived in Fishers for 56 years. "Yes, I have a councilor who I can go to but he's voted at-large. Everybody in the Town of Fishers, or city at that point, would vote for him/her."
"It's taking the power away from the citizens and putting it in the hands with money and means and political action committees and people who do business with the town," said Doug Allman, an opponent of the reorganization plan.
There's also concerns on how a change in government could cost taxpayers. Citizens to Reorganize Fishers said a hybrid or modern city will save $1 million a year in administrative costs, and police and fire departments opting out on Social Security into state pensions. Opponents said it's a wash, and those outside of Fishers could suffer.
"The accountants, the independent people who have crunched their numbers and sharpened their pencils saying there's no tax difference except a savings of $1 million a year," said Crane.
"Eighty percent on the savings plan in the reorganization plan is opting out of Social Security," said Allman. "Nobody has been able to do that in the last 10 years."
The town council will be hosting five more public meetings from now until November. The include the following:
- Sept. 18 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Sept. 26 from 6-7:30 p.m.
- Oct. 4 from 8-9:30 a.m.
- Oct. 10 from 6-7:30 p.m.
- Oct. 24 from 6-7:30 p.m.