"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"
aka "Miss Victory"

Friday, October 31, 2008

Well thought reader response to Washington Township Assessor Joline Ohmart's letter

Melyssa - Joline Ohmart sounds like a smart woman. Listen to her.

FYI - the consolidation effort isn’t unique to Indiana. In the early 90’s, the Rockefeller Foundation was instrumental in attempting to push through a statewide township consolidation plan that would have removed all localities from direct participation on local issues - including schooling, utilies, infrastructure, and much more. Again, the excuses given were taxpayer costs. But the driving element behind it, as stated in your email from Joline Ohmart, was not budget at all. It was ideolgy.

In fact, I found a study on various consolidation efforts that was published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The only thing that surprised me about their findings was that they published them. In summary, they found no cost savings due to economics of scale for goods and services, they found no cost savings in size or in cost of human resources, and they found no recognizable savings in infrastrucure or maintenance costs.

The one thing that was noted was a mood of disenfranchisement by residents who no longer had voting influence over decisions in their legally chartered communities.

And that is why it surprised me that the published document is available for researchers to find. As I’ve stated in the past on this blog, the motive for consolidation is NOT cost savings. The only recordable difference of note is that voters have lost local control of government..Consolidation is a power grab. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you different. They’re either lying, or they naively trust the folks who are driving the effort.

It seems to me that this assessor thing is such a mess that, if possible, we need to scrap the whole thing and start over. Maybe a little more transparency and accountability would help. The tax payers (bosses), I mean.-It also seems to me that the assessor in the Melyssa post says that it doesn’t matter if the assessments were wrong, we just need for the money to come from somewhere.

And I think one place to start is smaller government with less spending.

No comments: