Montgomery County government has two major governing boards—Board of County Commissioners and Council. Each has district responsibilities and it is helpful for citizens to understand these when preparing to vote in November.
The three-person Board of County Commissioners is the county executive and legislative body. While each commissioner must reside in one of three districts, commissioners are elected by all county voters.
Commissioners have a four-year term with no term limits. Two commissioners are elected in the presidential election year and one is elected two years later. Phil Bane and John Frey were elected in 2016. James Fulwider and Ed Stephens are competing for the third Commissioner position in the upcoming election.
The Commissioners annually elect a president. Commissioners are responsible for the administration of all county business and may enact ordinances. They control count property: buildings, equipment, bridges, and roads. They regulate county subdivisions, make appointments to boards, commissions and certain offices, and establish precincts and polling places.
The seven-person County Council is the county’s fiscal body. Three members are elected at large in the presidential election year. They represent the entire county and are elected by all citizens. Gary Booth, Greg Morrison and Terry Hockersmith were elected in 2016.
Four members are being elected this year. They must reside in one of the four Council Districts and are elected by voters from that district. Candidates for County Council District #2 are Mark Smith and Greg Wilcox.
The Council annually elects a president. The Council prepares and approves a budget, and manages all funds within that budget. The Council sets tax rates, and determines the number of and salaries for county employees.
Sale of property over a specific amount must also be approved by the Council. The Council exercises binding review of the budgets of most of the 31 units of local government.
The September 27 Candidates Forum at Crawfordsville High School provides the opportunity for Montgomery County residents to meet and talk with these candidates and uncontested candidates individually at the Meet-and-Greet at 6 p.m.in the High School Commons.
This will be followed at 7 p.m. by the Forum in the Auditorium, moderated by LWV First Vice President David Long, to hear presentations and responses to questions from the sponsoring organizations and the public. Additional Candidates invited on stage are: Loretta Barnes (D) and Sharon Negele (R), candidates for Indiana Legislative District #13 and Tim Brown (R ) and Brock Erwin (D) , candidates for Indiana Legislative District #4. Unfortunately, Tim Brown will not be able to attend due to his recent motorcycle accident, and we wish him well with his recovery. Mark Smith has sustained a hip injury and his participation is doubt.
Business and Professional Women will provide refreshments, and the LWV will have Voter Registration Forms available for those citizens who have not yet registered.
The Forum is sponsored by the League of Women Voters, Crawfordsville/Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, and Indiana Federation of Business and Professional Women.
The League of Women Voters, open to men as well as women, is a nonpartisan, multi-issue political organization which encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase public understanding of major governmental issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For information about the League, visit the website: www.lwvmontco.org or send a message to LWV, P.O. Box 101, Crawfordsville, IN 47933.