Political expert explains single county executive bill

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics has put on informational sessions to explain a referendum on this November’s ballot that could change Allen County’s three commissioner setup into a single county executive model. 

Andy Downs was the presenter at a session that was held at IPFW Wednesday night. He said these meetings will help Allen County voters understand what this could do to county government.

“This is not the sort of thing we normally get to vote on,” Downs said. “It will be important for people who go out to vote to learn as much as possible about this.”

Currently, the commissioners have control over the executive and legislative responsibilities of the county while county council primarily handles fiscal decisions. With the change, legislative decisions would be transferred back to the council, while only one person would serve as the executive. There are more than 400 communities across the country have adopted this model, according to advanceallen.com.

Downs said some voters support this measure because of the quicker response time from the government.

“The one you hear most loudly from people is that this will make county government more efficient,” he said. “It will streamline in decision making and things will be better because of that.”

He’s also heard from voters about why they feel it’s not a good model.

“That it will change a system that we understand,” Downs explained.

There are more sessions planned. Another informational session will be held Tuesday August 26, at the Allen County Public Library. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and begin at 5:15 p.m.

Another session will be more of a debate on the issue. That meeting will take place at Park Hill Center in New Haven on Wednesday August 27. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and starts at 6:00 p.m.

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