Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma has appointed Rep. Phil Hinkle, R-Indianapolis, and Rep. Jim Buck, R-Kokomo, to lead a group that will study and possibly make recommendations for a general framework that would allow "local communities could develop a consolidation plan and then put it before residents in the form of a voter referendum." (From the Evansville Courier Press via Masson's Blog)
In a related issue, the Local Government Efficiency and Finance Study Comittee has issued its final report. It recommends, among other things, 1) There be only one 911 call center per county, 2) Local units of government be able to initiate their own property tax replacement programs and have more control over finances in general, and 3) Allen County and Vanderburgh County consoldiation proposals be considered separately so each can succeed or fail on its own merits.
If this is the year the General Assembly finally decides to let go of some control over local units of government, I hope officials in Fort Wayne and Allen County are ready to take advantage of it.