Pro-Consolidation Statement on Complaint Filed by CORE


Numerous community leaders reacted strongly today at efforts to prevent Vandeburgh residents from voting on a Plan of Reorganization this fall. “The opponents of unification do not understand the plan and its obvious benefits to our community, said County Commissioner Joe Kiefer. He added, “It’s an effort to disenfranchise voters by not allowing citizens of Vanderburgh County a say in this important issue. Additionally, this challenge is an unnecessary expense for tax payers. Let the voters decide this issue on November 6th!”

According to a complaint filed with the Vanderburgh County Election Board, opponents of the plan to merge city and county government contend that certain signatures needed to get the referendum on the ballot were invalid.

To trigger the referendum process, state law required the signatures of at least 5 percent of county voters who cast ballots in 2006. Official election results put that number at 2,632.

Roberta Heiman and the organization she now leads, the League of Women Voters, helped gather many of the signatures. “I’m confident that County Clerk Susie Kirk did a thorough job and that we collected the required number of signatures. In fact, we collected many more than were required by the state law.”

Over 3,300 signatures were collected across the community, and after a thorough review, 2,757 were ultimately certified by the Clerk’s Office.

Supporters of the Plan of Reorganization have focused their campaign on educating residents on the tremendous opportunities that passage will bring. Said Kiefer, “We’ll continue to work hard communicating with every voter and making sure they have all the facts about how this important initiative will build a better future for each of us.”

The Vanderburgh County Election Board will hold its meeting on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm in the Vanderburgh County Election Office (Room 214) at the City County Building.


  1. If Zenarcher5 is correct than the Pro-Consolidation group don’t have the votes.

    Can’t wait for the “CHAD RECOUNT”!

  2. Kiefer….“We’ll continue to work hard communicating with every voter and making sure they have all the facts about how this important initiative will build a better future for each of us.”………. If you want the facts on consolidation, go to the CORE2012 website. Click on THE FACTS, and read of all the studies on other cities that have tried consolidation, then arrive at your own conclusion. The other web site has not one piece of factual information, it is all conjectural. Where is the savings? The devil is in the details and in this case the devil can be very unforgiving. Not only do you have the issue of pay scales, but if there are union contracts involved you have to look at the language of the contracts; decide how seniority is going to be determined, as well as under what terms and conditions lay-offs are permitted. I’m not sure this can be looked at in the time remaining but these are questions that should be posed to the group in favor of consolidation. These are not minor issues

    • Looks like the Sheriff has another partner in Joe Kiefer along with the Southwest League of Women Voters and the mayor. Where is Marsha Abell’s comments?

      • Kiefer and Williams are both dumber than a box of rocks. Ken and GI Joe models is what they were cut out to be.

          • Not sure if he is a genius, but he is honest. Also: instead of doing what is best for the machine, he does what is best for the taxpayers.

          • I agree. His challenge to the validity of the signatures on the petitions had nothing at all to do with his personal ambition, and everything to do with his honesty and what is best for taxpayers. Someone suggested he challenged it to give Susie Kirk a bad name, but surely that isn’t true.

          • You didn’t say he was, but I did. Rick Davis is a genius. Much smarter than anyone else in local gov’t.

          • Rick Davis only does what is good for Rick Davis. He is pompous and self serving. He’ll be seeking employment after the ekection.

          • If Rick Davis is such a genius, it seems he would have learned a long time ago not to attack every officeholder and candidate in his own party. I’ve heard that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

  3. Join Me in Rejecting Monopoly Government

    July 24, 2012 CORE2012.NET 2 Comments

    by Richard A.Clements

    “Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes….”, so wrote Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. Yet after 165 years as a chartered city, some of our friends and neighbors support destroying the long established governments of our City and County. So what are these serious and weighty matters that impel them toward centralizing government power into one unit? “We don’t know”, is the response. Are we to take seriously that such a radical step of transforming the governmental structures of both the urbanized city of Evansville with its population of over 117,000 and the rural and suburban portions of Vanderburgh County (excluding the town of Darmstadt), with its population in excess of 60,000 should be done to find out what happens? Is “We don’t know” what sober and judicious adults base their decisions upon? I should hope not.

    Other than as a concerned citizen, why should my opinion carry any special weight? I submit that is does because of my unique position of being at the genesis of this current initiative and from being an early supporter. I was at the table, literally at Turonis Pizzeria, when then City Councilman Joe Kiefer was trying to find a way out of his frustration of not being able to impact the agenda of the council from his minority position. Within a short time of that meeting in late 2002, a small group of us had decide that we needed consolidated government to allow smarter and better people the chance to make needed changes. We began assembling lists of stakeholders, proponents, and other “marquee names” for the consolidation effort. We were planning sales strategies for convincing citizens and elected officials to support our effort. I dove head long into the effort and began to immerse myself in the study of unification efforts of cities like Indianapolis, Jacksonville, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Nashville, and many others, as well as urban policy. We were going to change government to make it more efficient and more responsive, or at least that is what I thought. We were convinced that we were on the right path we only needed some stats to help sell our conclusions. My studies, however, revealed something completely different.

    From the countless academic studies I reviewed on various consolidation efforts, both successful and unsuccessful, I noticed a negative correlation between the stated goals of consolidation (e.g. efficiency, tax reduction, cost efficiency, economic development) and the actual end results. Study after study showed me, which should have been intuitive, that when you take two or more bureaucratic institutions and put them together you get one large bureaucratic institution with no incentive to economize. When you monopolize government it is not surprising that it acts like a monopoly and grows ever larger, more bureaucratic, and less responsive. This situation put me at odds between the efforts of my friends and the dictates of my conscience. I tried to convince, but it was too late and the initiative was running on its own inertia. I made the decision then to follow the truth where ever it would lead, regardless of consequence. I committed myself to be an advocate for better government and not bigger government.

    Fast forward to today. There are just over 140 days until we citizens get to decide whether we want monopoly government or not. Already now a series of meetings and public “education” sessions are being planned. Proponents will attempt to convince you that monopoly government will make life better. They will promise savings and efficiencies. They will tell you that monopoly government will help attract businesses or may improve our “quality of life”. Maybe they will tell us that in a future world of reduced federal budgets we will get a larger share of what is not coming. Possibly we will even be told that we will have more say in our government, but don’t believe any of it. When power is consolidated all that you can be assured of is that those with the reins of power will have a freer hand at exerting that power though political initiatives, expenditures, and administrative actions. What you will get are results that meet the needs of politicians and not those of citizens. Only those whose interests benefit from political largess will see this as a positive.

    So I ask my fellow citizens to be positive, get involved, and help us work toward better community. The first step is that you become informed and understand what government is and what it does. Learn what its limits and true ends should be. Next I ask you to join me in rejecting monopoly government and to work to reform our current local governments. Come help those of us who want a better Evansville and Vanderburgh County accessible to all citizens

  4. So Joe Kiefer and Roberta Heiman constitute “numerous community leaders”? Kiefer’s ignorance of the importance of following procedure equals “reacted strongly”?

    What little dignity the consolidationists must have to put out such a ridiculous statement.

    • Heiman is anything but a leader. Follower is more like it. It’s quite pathetic to see all of these “leaders” fall victim to Winnecke’s group think.

  5. The kiss of political death for the “Vandy Unity” vote.

    When Williams, Kiefer, Abell, Raben, Shelter, Winnenke, Gobel, Lloyd all want you to vote “YES” this issue has major proplems.

    In fact, because them the above folks at the Civic Center are not supporting this issue.

      • But she did NOT support a voter threshold, which is the same thing. She did not stand up for her rural constituents.

        • If I remember correctly, the board of commissioners was composed of Lloyd Winnecke, Troy Tornatta, and Steve Melcher when the opportunity for instituting the rejection threshold existed and none of the three voted to include it. Melcher was the only one who came out later and wanted to change his mind, but it was too late.

          • Tornatta was out and Abell was in when the final vote was cast in a combined meeting of the City council and County Commissioners.

      • Marsha told me personally she is for consolidation because without it “the brain drain will continue (to cause migration of civic leaders from the downtown area to the suburbs)” was pretty much her words. I had to chuckle a bit at her assumption that a brain trust exists among the current leaders.

  6. The same enablers who gave us 8 years of “stealth government”, who spent money like drunken sailors while the economy was going to hell, are now trying to salvage their corrupted city by picking the pockets of residents who live outside of Evansville.

    It is an attempt at a hostile takeover of county government and those county commissioners who signed away the county resident’s right to the protection of the Rejection Threshold are the ones speaking loudest in favor of consolidation, which is nothing more than total annexation of the county into the city, with the city still in control of the governmental process.

    Strike it down! The sooner the better.


    • Actually, the “enablers” all stand to lose their seats due to the new districts. So consolidation really doesn’t help those in power. Wanna try a new argument?

      This could just as equally be described as the county taking over city government. After all, it is the county voters will run things after consolidation.

      You sound desperate. Maybe that’s why you’re trying to win this issue before the election commission instead of at the ballot box?

      • If it turns out that the consolidationists lied and cheated to get this hot mess to the voters, then it doesn’t derserve our consideration.

        If they weren’t honest with us from the start, why should we even believe that any of their sales pitch is truthful? Cheaters shouldn’t be rewarded.

      • You live in a dream world. The people running the show trade these people around like the pawns they are. They have no chance of gaining office unless they kiss the correct @ss. Just ask Rick Davis.

        I will stick with the truth, thank you.


        • I dont think not kissing ass was Rick Davis’s problem. Pissing off everyone that should and would naturally be inclined to support him was/is/always will be his problem. You don’t go in to ANY office holders office and anounce that “you cant get elected dog catcher in this town and I am running against you” and expect to win friends.

  7. Why are the boys and girls at Vectren working so hard to get “United Gov” in Vanderburgh county approved?

    Oh, could it be a plan for the “Right Wing Republicans” to tske over the county?

  8. Why are Nick H, Josh C, Steve S , Russ L, Billy B, Lloyd W and Ted Z are pushing so hard to get consolidation of Vandyburgh County Government approved?

  9. If the vast majority of residents living outside the city of Evansville vote against Consolidated Government, and a majority of city votes account for its passage, then things will be worse, not better where local government is concerned.

    Perhaps the people pushing for this thought that there would be no repercussions from shoving this down the throats of everyone living outside off the city, but anyone of intelligence who gave it a moments thought knows better.


  10. Has anyone done a search on Google researching Consolidation? Recently I did and wasn’t surprised to see the low numbers of Cities which Consolidated. Since 1902 to 2000 onehundred-five cities have had a Ref to merge and only 27 have done so……..In 100 years 27 towns have merged! That says ALOT doesn’t? Around 50 Cities in the WHOLE USA have Consolidated. If any of my annual bills were to go up 50 to 70+ percent I Would Have a BIG Problem with that but Voters are now being given the Choice to be burdened with said increases. Evansville has already Consolidated what needs to be Consolidated going further will only burden the Taxpayer. Take a look at the Wikipedia link below, it’s interesting and informative.

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