Regional Cities Initiative – Regional Development Authority

Regional Cities Initiative – Regional Development Authority

Let’s discuss the new thing that came down from the state this legislative session.

Let me start by giving the legislature (especially the House) some credit. They did not want to fund this thing, but it was one of the governor’s pet projects that he wanted to get through. First, they revised the RDA statute to make it more municipal friendly. Second, they did not want to fund it, but agreed with a compromise with the governor on using tax amnesty funds. So when you hear that “$84 million” that we MUST apply for, know that it is an estimated guess by what the state will receive from people paying back taxes AND know that the funding does not go past those first 2 years. It’s anyone’s guess whether the state will fund it beyond that.

Now, what authority will our elected bodies be giving up in order to beg for a portion of that “$84 million”? In order to apply for the money (and remember there is no promise our region will be chosen), our region must establish a regional development authority. Much of the powers of a redevelopment commission are also granted to this regional authority (for example, eminent domain). Once a body joins the regional development authority they are in it for EIGHT YEARS, like it or not. The board is a whole other issue. (see below)

Even if your governing body joins, there is no guarantee that your locale will even have a voice on this thing. One of the arguments I have seen for joining this RDA is “if we don’t join we won’t have a seat at the table.” My argument is, even if you join, there is no assurance you will get one of the appointees! And let’s fast forward 8 years and say we don’t like the plan, if the governmental body withdrawals from the RDA, they are still committed to funding what was implemented during those 8 years.

To the citizens, in a BEST CASE scenario, our county would have an appointee on the board…possibly ONE. Let’s say we don’t like the regional plan or the appointees on the board? Best case, we vote out every single county council member and commissioners but we’re only 3 years into this RDA. They can’t get us out for 8 years so the best they could do is fight to replace one appointee. ONE. OUT OF FIVE. According to the statute 75% of the executive members of the RDA have to agree. No one county or municipality election matters to the plan and projects of this board.

See how this takes away power from the electorate?

RDA Board

* The RDA has the authority of eminent domain. (IC-36-7.6-3-2(c))
* Transfers of funds do not require fiscal body appropriation as the RDA is a separate political body. (IC-36-7.6-4-2)
* The state legislature can change the rules of this game at ANY time.
* Property owned by the RDA will be tax exempt. This means we will all pay a higher share to cover the loss.

Last night, June 22, Harrison county passed a resolution in support of this RDA. Washington county has already. So they have 2 counties.

If an adjacent county to Clark joins then Jeffersonville and Clarksville can join those counties.

If you like elections to continue to MEAN something, anything at all, then you need to call your local city/town councilman and tell them to research IC-36-7.6 before agreeing to this monstrosity.

Bottom line: if you sit out on this, if you stay silent, you are passively agreeing that appointed businessmen make better decisions than voters. Future generations (your children & grandchildren) will curse you for your apathy.

I’m that ticked off that any elected official is willing to hand over their autonomy (and the voices of their constituents) to an appointed board in charge of a “region”. All for the chains the state is offering via a bribe with COLD.HARD.CASH.

The new law: HEA1403

The chains necessary to get the money

WaPo: What is a Kludgeocracy?

We cannot leap into world government in one quick step…The precondition for eventual globalization-genuine globalization-is progressive regionalization, because thereby we can move toward larger, more stable, more cooperative units. ~ former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski

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10 Comments on "Regional Cities Initiative – Regional Development Authority"

  • Tammy Burnsworth says

    exactly! well said!

  • mark crum says

    More liberties lost. The battle never ends. Larger government = larger problems.

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