Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

County Consolidation Showdown Foes CORE Drum Up Support

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

County Consolidation Showdown Foes CORE Drum Up Support

Article excerpt

Opponents of a proposal to consolidate city and county governments in Vanderburgh County are looking for people to put out yard signs, wear T-shirts and donate money in support of their cause. With five months to go before the question will be resolved on the November ballot, Citizens Opposed to Reorganization in Evansville attracted about 70 people to an informational meeting Thursday evening at North Park Library. It was the first of what is expected to be a series of such meetings to rally voters against the merger proposal.

"We basically kicked off during the primary," said Bruce Blackford, co-chair of CORE. "We're getting more people involved. We have a new website - www.core2012.net - and we're getting the word out."

Blackford said the group has held four meetings in the past few months, and group co-chair Bruce Ungethiem said 30 to 40 people consistently attend to show their support for the cause.

"This is the first meeting to sort of explain why we are opposed to reorganization," Blackford said. "We are grass roots, doing public meetings to try to explain to people who haven't read the plan.. and explaining some misconceptions they might have about the plan."

In a panel discussion, opponents of the consolidation plan cited what they regarded as a lack of hard evidence regarding efficiency and questioned whether it would save taxpayers money. They said, too, it would result in less citizen representation by giving more power to appointed officials rather than elected ones.

Panelists included Vanderburgh County Treasurer Rick Davis, country surveyor Bill Jeffers, original citizen committee member Barbara Harris and Ungethiem.

Ungethiem and other panelists said those who live outside city limits will receive less representation than current city residents. He also said the group believes the mayor, who would head the new consolidated government, would have too much power to fill key positions by appointments. …

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