Could this be because a majority of the commissioners wanted Mr. Diamond on the Plan Commission no matter what, and chose to ignore his ineligibility?
In late April, a Democratic appointee to the Plan Commission resigned and the commissioners had to name someone to finish out that term. Of the five citizen members appointed to the Plan Commission, no more than three can be of the same political party. In April there were three Republicans and two Democrats, which is consistent with the law.
Mr. Diamond, who voted Republican in 2012, was taken off of the library board to fill the Democratic vacancy when there were legitimate Democrats willing to serve. In the April 2013 invoice from county attorney John Brooke, he references a conference call that he had with Commissioner Phil Heron and Plan Director Steve Edson about Mr. Diamond’s eligibility. Why wouldn’t Attorney Brooke caution Mr. Heron about appointing someone who was not eligible? Why didn’t Mr. Heron do his due diligence and check the voting record? Since the commissioners failed to pay attention to the law, there are now four Republican citizen members.
On Monday afternoon I personally contacted Brad King, who is the co-director of the Indiana Election Division. He immediately supplied me with Indiana Code 36-7-4 that outlines of the five citizen members, not more than three may be of the same political party; and Indiana Code 36-1-8-10 that states: “Whenever a law requires that the membership of a board not exceed a stated number of members from the same political party, at the time of an appointment, the most recent primary election in which the appointee voted is the party with which the appointee claims affiliation.” I would be glad to share this email with anyone who asks.
This is not just a Democratic Party rule, as Mrs. Smeltzer wrote. It is an Indiana Code and our commissioners ignored it.