By Amanda Ensinger
Franklin Township will try once more to become a limited home rule government.
At a recent meeting, the board of trustees approved adding this measure to the November ballot with a majority vote. Don Cook voted against the ballot initiative.
Last fall, the board asked residents to approve becoming a limited home rule government and were turned down by the voters.
One resident questioned how the township is going to get community support this time.
“You are spending over $3,000 to put this on the ballot again,” said Mike Blevins, township resident. “What are you going to do differently this time?”
Trustee John Fleshman assured Blevins they would be doing more this time to raise awareness about the many benefits limited home rule brings to the community.
“We are going to put a committee together to communicate the benefits this will bring to our police department, road department and throughout our community,” Fleshman said. “We also are going to put notices in the paper and have public meetings with question and answer sessions.”
According to Fleshman, a limited home rule government allows for more control over public affairs and service within a township.
“We would have the authority to do some remarkable things here like give grants for outside signage and we can actually enforce rules,” said Fleshman.
Some residents showed support for becoming a limited home rule township.
“I think this is a great move for the township,” said Ayeh Alex. “This will empower residents to have more power in the township and will make our police and fire departments stronger. This will improve responsiveness and I look forward to working on this and supporting it this November.”
“I have waited for five years for some of my neighbors to clean up their property,” said Robyn Watkins, Franklin Township resident. “This will help clean up our community and improve our property values.”
Trustee Ralph Horn said that becoming a limited home rule township would help the township in cleaning up junk cars and allow them to tighten up ordinances and give them more authority to clean up the neighborhoods.
In other news, the trustees approved realigning the board at the request of Fleshman. While all trustees approved moving forward with the realignment, not all supported the new roles within the board.
Fleshman and Horn approved making Horn the new chair of the board and making Fleshman the vice chair of the board, removing Don Cook as chairman. Cook voted against the change.
When asked by community members why Fleshman wanted to do this, he said it would improve how the board functions.