Letter: Legislative action on townships wanted

To the editor:

A recent story about charges being filed against a township trustee in Henry County for stealing taxpayer funds between 2013 and 2015 is unfortunately not surprising.

It is yet another arrest in a long series of criminal incidents involving township employees that have occurred around the state.

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce first communicated on the topic of local government reform and ongoing abuses by township officials nearly 20 years ago. The fact that we still must do so today is depressing and unforgivable.

State legislators were provided a playbook in 2007 when the Kernan-Shepard Commission called for the elimination of this unnecessary level of government. In a statewide survey, two-thirds of Hoosiers acknowledged they had never used township services.

State lawmakers have repeatedly failed to act upon that recommendation; that’s simply inexcusable.

With more than 1,200 bills filed in this session, the number that take on the outdated — and as we continue to see, criminal — practices of townships is a big fat zero.

How many more township officials have to go to jail and how many more thousands of taxpayer dollars have to be stolen before the General Assembly takes action?

Legislators, who is willing to step up to the job?

Kevin Brinegar, president and CEO, Indiana Chamber of Commerce

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