Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Libertarian Party of Marion County Statement on SB 621

Libertarian Party of Marion County Urges 
Governor Pence to Veto SB 621

The Indiana General Assembly has passed SB 621, a law which would eliminate all At-Large City-County Council seats in Marion County and give the Mayor unrestricted control over the budget. The Libertarian Party of Marion County stands against this legislation.

SB 621 has correctly been described as the “power grab” bill. It is an obvious attempt by the Republican super majority in the General Assembly to strip the power of the vote from the citizens of Marion County.

By eliminating the four at-large seats on the Council, the General Assembly is stripping away the combined voice of The People. While the LPMC is not convinced that the current structure of the Marion County government is necessarily the most productive and efficient model available to our citizens, we also do not believe the General Assembly should be dictating that model to us. Instead, we encourage the state legislators to introduce legislation to turn the authority to decide what model works best for Marion County over to the people of Marion County. The representatives of the other 91 counties should not be deciding how people they do not represent should be able to govern themselves.

SB 621 also gives the Mayor of Indianapolis unheard of authority to control the City budget in whatever way he seems fit. While the Council would still vote on the budget, the Mayor is given the almost unbelievable power to change that budget on a whim. The people of Marion County deserve a system of checks and balances, and this bill eliminates that.

To make matters worse, the General Assembly simply did not take the proper time to listen to the thoughts of the people of Marion County, the only county impacted by this legislation. Instead, the legislature chose to push through this bill and enforce it on us without our say.

We urge the citizens of Marion County to join us in calling on Governor Pence to reject this partisan power grab by vetoing SB 621.

1 comment:

  1. If you are going to make a serious argument, I propose that you read the Indiana Constitution, SB621, and the current Indiana code. Please explain what passages constitute “unrestricted control,“ a “power grab,” “unheard of authority,“ “whatever way he seems fit,” “almost unbelievable power,” “change that budget on a whim,” and the “system of checks and balances“ that “this bill eliminates.”

    The Mayor and City-County Council have lawfully enacted budgets, then the County Offices ignore them and overspend. Wouldn’t this constitute a “power grab” (and more) by the County Offices? Shouldn’t there be a “system of checks and balances” for the County Offices?

    Suppose, for example, that the Sheriff overspends his budget and the Mayor must raise taxes in order to compensate. The voters are going retaliate against the Mayor in the next election and not the Sheriff. If the Mayor is going to be held responsible for a problem, then shouldn‘t he have the power to fix it?.

    I personally would prefer to keep all 29 members of the City-County Council, but SB621 is hardly the end of the world. There are 25 members remaining to listen to the voice of The People. We will still have the third largest City Council in the country.

    I am curious about your assertion that The People should decide what model works best for Marion County. Exactly how would The People do that? We have difficulty getting 150 legislators to agree on something workable! Do you seriously believe that a collection of opinions from a million county residents can be assembled into something rational? Should County residents sit at a table in the Convention Center and not leave until there is unanimous agreement on the wording of a model? Under what authority would such a convention act and under what rules should such a convention operate? Since The People gave the Libertarian Party only 1.48 per cent of the vote in the last mayoral election, the Libertarian Party should not be the one to dictate the rules.