Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

September 1, 2013

Man on the street draws a blank

Trustee questions baffle just about everyone

By Scott Smith
Kokomo Tribune

---- — Go ahead, ask anyone: “Who is your township trustee?”Just be sure, before you do, that you actually know who your own trustee is.Liberty Township resident Tony Maddox at least knew what township he lives in, but couldn’t come up with the name of his trustee (Linda Grove) or a decent idea of what she does (poor relief and fire protection).“Do you know who your trustee is?” Maddox asked a Tribune reporter, grinning when the answer came back negative.Fred Zerbe, a Center Township resident, had no idea Jean Lushin is the Center Township trustee.Zerbe is, however, certain that there are too many different layers of government.“They’ve got so many different places for money, where they can hide it, and no one knows where it all goes,” Zerbe said.Tabitha Glassburn, a Center Township resident, ventured a guess as to what the trustee does, saying she though the trustee “pays the bills for the government and looks after the money.”One suspects she was confusing the trustee’s role with that of the county auditor, who does in fact keep track of money and pay bills.Tiffany Rosselot, Russiaville, knew she lives in Honey Creek Township, but didn’t know David Britton is her trustee.“I don’t have a clue,” Rosselot said, when asked what the trustee does.Angela Coleman, recently moved to Kokomo, said she didn’t know who her trustee was. She said she’s only been in town a month, having moved her from Logansport.So did she know who her trustee was in Cass County?“Nope,” came the reply.

Even the trustees, it seems, are aware there is a public knowledge deficit on what they do.

Last year, as part of a study into the possibility of consolidating township offices, the local trustees asked Howard County residents some survey questions.

"The survey showed most people don't know what we do," Lushin said.