Commissioner Question Added To November Ballot


Published 07/22 2014 08:27AM

Updated 08/01 2014 04:31PM

Elections aren't until November, but at Monday's election board meeting, they added a question to the ballot. The question is if Allen County should keep the three county commissioner system, or switch to a single executive system.

When people go to vote in November, the very first question at the top of the ballot, could change the way things have been done in Allen County for over a century.

At Monday's election board meeting, the board formally certified a question for the Allen County ballot. Should Allen County do away with three commissioners and instead have one single county executive?

Director of Allen County Elections, Beth Dlug..."This particular type of question is very rare, for any kind of reorganization. There have been public questions that have been on the ballot before, but they are usually just for smaller communities. Nothing that would change the structure of government."

If approved, the Allen County Council would go from seven people to nine. This system is similar to having a mayor like the city of Fort Wayne does.

During the last legislative session, state representative Casey Cox voted against this question being on the ballot. "Understand the ideas for creating, looking at structures trying to create efficiencies. Find the best model of government to suit the citizens." Representative Cox says he would have liked to look at all options before the house vote. "Favored some different models, something more along the lines of a school board, or a business corporate model, with one group across the board instead of hiring a single administrator."

Current county commissioner Nelson Peters will vote in favor having a larger county council, and one executive. "To me it makes a lot of sense, because frankly, I don't know if there is enough work for three county commissioners right now. Additionally, it can be cumbersome, and a little bulky at times with commissioners tripping over each other's feet."

Peter's says he will support the vote, even if it means he's out of a job. "I think it's going to allow decisions to be made more quickly. I think it's more inviting to those businesses who want to locate in Allen County."

Each Allen County Commissioner has their own views on this issue, and the other two were unavailable. If this is voted through in November, the new government structure would not take effect until 2019.

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