Increasing Number Of Town Council Members Will Have To Wait

A suggestion to expand the number of Crothersville Town Council members from three to five representatives will have to wait until at least 2012 for any action.
Local resident Brenda Holzworth has been an advocate for expanding the number of town council members to gain additional fresh ideas to serve town government.
She brought the matter up at last Tuesday’s Town Council meeting urging current town council members Ardell Mitchell, Bill Nagle and Karen Mains to expand the representation of the town council.
However, a lack of time and possibly a lack of interest from potential candidates will squash the idea for the time being.
The town cannot change the number of council representatives during a town election year, the next one being 2011. To get the matter on the November 2 ballot would require special meetings and the cooperation of Jackson County Clerk Sarah Benter.
“The council would have to pass an ordinance increasing the number of representatives then get the approval to the county clerk in time to be placed on the town precinct ballot this November,” said town attorney Travis Thompson. “I am doubtful that we can push that through in enough time to get it on the November 2 ballot.”
“Long term I think it is a good idea, but shouldn’t be acted on by the current council,” said council Bill Nagle who has gone on record that he will not seek re-election.
Town Council president Ardell Mitchell agreed that five town council representatives would be a better but would not be supported by interested candidates.
“I think it would be a waste of time,” said Mitchell. “But there is too much apathy in the community when it comes to serving as a part of town government.”
With five council seats there may not be competitive races and may be no need for an election, it was noted.
Mitchell acknowledged that five council members would be better because with three, the open door law prevent a council member from talking to another about town business (2 of 3 members constitute a majority and would be a violation of the Indiana open Door Law). “With five on the council, private discussion could be held without breaking the open door law,” Mitchell said.