(STATEHOUSE) Dec. 11, 2007 - "I am encouraged with the work of the Kernan-Shepard Commission. It certainly gives us a framework to consider for the 21st century to make government more efficient and more effective.
"I want to make sure, in all of the consolidation discussions, rural Indiana and our small communities do not lose their autonomy and local flavor specifically as it relates to police and fire protection and local libraries.
"At the small town and city level, many functions of government that are paid for by the public in larger communities are provided by dedicated volunteers. In our efforts to streamline government we should not forget in many small cities and towns all across Indiana there are hundreds and thousands of the civic-minded citizens who do not believe government has to do everything and are willing to roll up their sleeves and volunteer. I quickly think of volunteer fire departments, auxiliary police, EMS services and library volunteers among others who have provided valuable services to smaller communities of Indiana."