TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)- House Bill 1030 addresses the issue of a community's ability to remove a county official. The bill is making its way through the statehouse, but Senator Ron Alting is adding an amendment that could help community members in Wabash Township. There are several bills in the statehouse addressing matters that concern Townships.
"Much like on the federal level we have a president as an executive and a congress as a legislature that's your township board as the legislative body and trustee serves as your executives, “said Brendan Betz a Wabash Township Board Member.
Township boards review budgets, funds and ultimately pass budgets and set salaries for township employees.
"They are one of the districts that are not subject to gerrymandering. They are essentially set in stone, “added Betz
As we previously reported, the Wabash township board has been having several disagreements with Township Trustee Jennifer Teising. There have been claims that she doesn't live in the district and a petition is circulating online asking for her resignation. House Bill 1030 would make it easier for citizens or the township board to make that happen.
"Counties are wanting a more streamlined and would prefer a more direct approach to get rid of such employees," said local State Senator Ron Alting.
The bill would allow any citizen or board member to present evidence that a county employee has violated their duty to serve the county commissioners. Then County Commissioners and the County Council would vote on a resolution as to whether or not that employee is still fit to serve. This bill would apply to every position in county government except for a township trustee. But Senator Ron Alting plans on changing that.
"My amendment that I will be offering will put the township trustee in that same category," said Senator Alting.
Wabash Township Board Member Brendan Betz says while this amendment does give him concern.
"My initial fear of anybody might be in a minority party would be is this is something that could be used politically in nature, “added Betz.
However, he feels it will give stakeholders in the community a seat at the table.
"This provides folks an outlet to take those petitions to take those concerns and it provides that remedy as well on for the county government to consider hey what actions might we want to take here in terms of an elected official,” said Betz.
Senator Alting plans on filing his amendment during the bill's next Senate Committee Conference.
We reached out to Wabash Township Trustee Jennifer Teising for a comment but didn't receive a response.