Six down only one left.
When I moved to the un-incorporated area of Geist the first letter in my mailbox was from the Town of Fishers telling me were going to annex my area. Being from another state I stated to look how is this possible? Don’t people have to vote to be taken over like it is in almost everywhere else? What was I going to get as a result of this take-over?
As it turned out I would get a 22% tax increase with no additional services. It was a pure land and tax grab by the Town. Then I found under Indiana law they didn’t have to ask us if we wanted to be taken over, just roll up the tanks and attack.
So many of us that lived in the effected area banned together and off to court we went, we knew we couldn’t win in the long run but every year we held them at bay was one less year of much higher taxes. So off to battle we went. For three years we held them off.
What was interesting is seeing how nasty they were. Almost to the point that if this were real warfare they would take no prisoners in battle. Near the end we were trying to settle the whole thing and Art Levine and Eileen Pritchard were downright vindictive of us fighting for our rights. Then of course there was Scott Faultless and Stu Easley. The other Council members didn’t have much to say but we noted their quiet approval (Dan E. Henke, David George and Charlie White).
So we lost that battle, but the war was still going, the structure of Town Government allowed them to stay in office and rule with absolute power. So we started to get petitions signed by the citizens calling for a vote to stay a town or become a city. I alone gathered over 50% of the required signatures for a vote and once again they showed their contempt for the voters. They refused to set a date for a vote. Off to court we went again and again the laws of Indiana are not in favor of the people but those in power. You see the law said they had to have a vote once the petitions were submitted but no time limit. So it was open ended. They could have the election in the year 2099. Public pressure finally drove them to an election. But once again they were up to their nasty tricks. They tried to rig the ballots by asking two questions instead of one and you had to vote yes on one and no to another. A small group of us came up with the campaign slogan “Don’t be Tricked” on black and yellow signs and it took off. The town spent handfuls of money in an “educational” program to show what the difference was between a town and city. Needless to say a rather one side educational campaign. They took polls and it showed them they were going to win by a landslide of 80%. We had volunteers and 98% of the households in Fishers got a Xerox flyer walked door to door. We had people at every polling place with a very small piece of paper on how to vote so you would not be tricked. Of course they had expensive fancy large postcards that you can’t take into the polls but a small piece of paper can go into a pocket and pulled out if you were not sure on how to vote.
Now I was not invited to the town victory party at a local bar but was told you could hear a pin drop when they announced the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of a city followed by yells to get even with the city people. Ah victory is so sweet. But that is not the end of this story. You see I also made a promise to myself I would continued to work until the members of the Town Council were no longer elected officials of the Town or the New City. Well Art Levine moved away, so one down. Charlie White ran for higher office and actually he didn’t count, as he was sort of OK. Dan Henke was moved to be the new town Judge while this was politics at its worst by the Town Council he was gone. Next came the first election for a City Council and two more were gone, Ms. Nasty Pritchard and Scott Faultless who had tried to rule with an iron fist for years. That left only two David George and Stu Easley. Now Stu is an interesting fellow, first he was against the city even spending around $5000 of his own money to try and stop the city and once formed a reformed Stu was now a great City supporter. All these great things he was going to do, why he had 20 years on the Town Council to do them and didn’t. So he was beaten in the last election. And now we are down to the last one David George. I wonder if buried in the City (Town) Hall somewhere there is a bottle of Champaign for the last survivor to drink a toast to his fallen comrades.