[r85] Protecting small communities (10/31/2013)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Start Date: 10/31/2013 Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 10/31/2013
Coming from Leo, my heart will always be in rural, small town America. There is a sense of community and collectiveness where everyone looks out for one another. While current trends suggest people moving to metropolitan areas, the values and attributes of smaller towns are an essential fabric of our state’s makeup.

Issues regarding local government annexation, consolidation and reform are complex. As a conservative, I believe that less government is best. Government should be lean and efficient. However, I also believe that government which is closest to the people operates best.

If small towns like Leo-Cedarville, Grabill and others were absorbed into the city of Fort Wayne, each would have their voices and representation diminished. The same would be true if townships like Cedar Creek, Adams, Jefferson, Milan and others were included by the city of Fort Wayne. For instance, if a family in one of our towns has an issue involving local government, they can bring the issue to the town council. As a unit, the council members may represent fewer than 5000 people.

By nature, a government entity serving a small constituency is likely to be more individually responsive than a government entity serving a large constituency. In other words, bringing a local concern to a local official is likely to yield a more timely and effective response than bringing a local concern before the entire city of Fort Wayne, much less Allen County. Bringing concerns to a township official versus a big city or county official should yield a similar result.

If small towns and townships are annexed, consolidated or eliminated, it becomes increasingly difficult for citizens who live in those areas to have their local concerns addressed in an efficient manner. It is important to protect the voice of small communities, as well as rural townships in Allen County. 

Fort Wayne is a fine city – one that I currently reside in. But, that doesn’t change the necessity of having local units address local issues. The size and scope of all levels of government needs to be lean and responsive to its people, which is possible when a manageable balance of adequate representation is achieved. Different places offer different opportunities, and, as a small town Hoosier, I still carry those values with me each day. Those values are worth protecting.

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Rep. Cox serves a portion of Allen County.

Cox - Protecting small communities.docx