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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

One step

We've wasted a lot of time here talking about consolidated government that's probably never going to happen. The way things have been shaping up over the "shared space needs" fiasco, we'll be lucky if city and county officials don't start killing each other. In the meantime, Evansville and Vanderburgh County residents seem to have realized that current fiscal restraints might be a good reason to consider changing business as ususal:

On January 5, the public will get its chance to sound off on the issue.

It's the first step in allowing voters to decide whether the city and county should become one.

The more than 3,300 signatures of Evansville and Vanderburgh County residents are now in the hands of the Vanderburgh County Commission.

[. . .]

Heiman saw first-hand the interest many have to get the merger on the ballot.

She said she spoke to both city and county residents at coffee shops and bars, and others in their own homes.

"That's unusual for somebody to do it when they're for something," Heiman said. "Usually it's the protestors that go to that kind of effort."

Many oppoents of consolidation efforts seem to believe, or at least argue the point, that those "big special interest groups" are trying to shove something down people's throats or that the usual suspects among the good-old-boys network are trying to put one over on the rest of us. But in Indiana, any consolidation that happens will be because the voters approve it in a referendum.

Even if they have a referendum in Vanderburgh County, it might not pass. Most of the two dozen or so consolidated governments in the country failed the first time around. But the vote would be one more steop in the process, one we can't seem to bring ourselves to in Allen County.