The Town of Fishers, obviously wracked with an imminent sense of failure in its attempt to annex the Geist neighborhoods, is hosting an open house tonight at the Town Hall from 6:30-8:00pm.
The Noblesville Daily Times printed my letter in today's edition, expanding on the embarrassment that is this Council effort. It is as follows:
The Town of Fishers' attempt to forcibly annex the Geist-area neighborhoods is frustrating, both as a Fishers resident and as someone who believes in the right to self-determination, smaller government and lower taxes.
It is frustrating because the residents of Geist were not asking to be annexed and are actively forming resistance to the forced annexation. It concerns me that my town councilors would initiate force upon those it wants as its citizens. This isn't exactly the best way to roll out the “welcome” mat.
It is frustrating because the town is quite obviously seeking to inflate its population numbers, its tax base, and its bonding capacity. You don't do these things in municipal government unless a spending spree is in mind. As a fiscal conservative, I want my town councilors to always be looking for ways to reduce the per capita budget and the overall scope of government, not ways to best mask growing it.
It is very embarrassing that the Town Council is reduced to hosting a dog and pony show designed to show Geist residents that being swallowed into the town won't be so bad. Sales jobs aren't required when the customer wants to buy and when the approach is halfway friendlier than a hostile takeover. It wouldn't happen if the council was strictly focused on the core functions of government in the area within the current town limits. If we had Libertarians on the council, we would have a more fiscally conservative and sensitive approach.
The town council is very fond of patting itself on the back for the high rating issued to Fishers by Money magazine. What they should come to terms with is the fact that the town has that ranking despite the council, not because of it. Quality of life isn't only determined by household incomes and assessed value. It is often judged by whether local government makes residents' lives easier or harder. The council is making all of our lives less productive by wasting the resources of the existing tax base in this vain pursuit, and in particular, is wasting the time, energy, and money of the Geist residents who are left to fight this unwanted action. A council that unnecessarily creates hard feelings doesn't deserve the accolades.
The all-Republican council should drop this initiative immediately, issue apologies to the residents and business owners of Geist and look into more productive enterprises that would make our lives easier, such as reducing permit fees or shrinking government such that an addition to the Town Hall would be unnecessary.
Mike Kole, Fishers
Mike Kole is the former chair of the Libertarian Party of Hamilton County.