By Scott Smith and Ken de la Bastide
Making it personal
The Southeast Annexation battle between the city of Kokomo and Taylor Community Schools took a dramatic turn this week.
During Monday’s caucus of the Kokomo Common Council, city controller Randy Morris passed around a fact sheet to council members and the media. In it, there was a lot of information about the decrease in assessed value for Taylor schools, the loss of 140 parcels with the construction of the new U.S. 31 Kokomo Corridor, and the projected increase in property tax rates.
Morris went on to write that the average salary of administrators at Taylor is $103,000, the highest of any school system in Howard County.
Then the fact sheet turned on Magers, questioning this choice of residency (he reportedly owns property in Henry County but rents in Taylor Township) and his mode of transportation.
“On a side note, Superintendent Magers drives a Toyota Pruis, which raises questions about his support of our local work force, retirees and their families,” the fact sheet stated.
We have to question how that figures into annexation.
During last week’s meeting of the Howard County commissioners, Tyler Moore extolled the good news that alumni of Notre Dame University were greeted with that morning.
For the first time since 1993, the Fighting Irish were ranked No. 1 in the college football polls and sits atop the BCS rankings to play for the national title.
“It was a good weekend for Notre Dame,” Moore said at the opening of the meeting, an obvious reference to the fact that both Kansas State and Oregon were upset over the weekend.
“We’re looking forward to Jan. 7,” Moore said of the championship game against likely opponent Alabama.
Moore was a cheerleader at Notre Dame University.
Redistricting on hold
Following the 2010 census, the Kokomo Common Council is required by state law to reconfigure the six council districts to ensure equal representation.
Council president Mike Kennedy appointed the three council members elected to at-large seats to serve on a committee to redraw the district lines. Kennedy, Bob Hayes and Kevin Summers will decide how the boundary lines will be drawn.
Kennedy said at Monday’s council caucus that action has to be taken by Dec. 10. He said the intent is to leave the district lines as they’re currently configured. He said the city is waiting on population numbers from the county and work will begin in 2013 on redrawing the boundary lines.
The next city election, when the new district configuration will be utilized, is not until 2015.
Expect a full house
There’ll likely be a large number of residents to the southeast of city limits to be in attendance at Monday’s Kokomo Common Council meeting.
The council will be considering on first reading an ordinance to annex the area along the U.S. 31 Kokomo Corridor. Affected residents have already started a petition drive in opposition to the annexation and Taylor School Superintendent John Magers has been playing a significant role in the discussion. The council meets at 7 p.m. in the council chambers of Kokomo City Hall.
The Kokomo Chamber of Commerce is hosting “Eggs & Issues,” a preview of the 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly on Thursday. The event will be 7:30 to 9 a.m. in the Casa Bella Room at Pastariffic. Reservations to attend the event can be made by calling 765-457-5301, the cost is $15 for non-members and $10 for chamber members.