Much Work Goes in Before Decisions are Made

Merrillville Town Government has many moving parts. The twice-monthly business meetings that take place on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday evenings of the month are to allow the Town Council to take formal actions on decisions about our town. Purchases, events, budget, operations, and programs that the town will offer. Some of these motions and council votes may seem like they happen quickly without much debate or discussion, but prior to any votes on the council floor, much deliberation, research, debate, and studying takes place.

The Town Council members all serve on various boards and committees that are assigned by the Council President at the beginning of each calendar year. The three-member committees represent all functioning areas of the town. The committee structure allows members to investigate issues before the council and make recommendations based on what was learned. Department heads are involved as well as any other town associates or experts from outside of town government who can shed light on the issues at hand. Financial advisers, bond attorneys, town attorneys, and Police Commission attorneys are all consulted.

Although to an observer, who happens to attend or watch the video of Town Council meetings, it may appear as though important decisions are taking place with little debate, but that is not the case in most cases. The debate and work to get to those decisions have happened prior to the President placing those items on the agenda for a vote.

I write this today as some residents were questioning the closing of the Town Court. Please know that there has been much discussion about this topic as well as hours of research. The same can be said of large neighborhood developments, road projects, tax abatement, or any other important issues. The work is always done in advance and all council members are invited to attend any committee meeting, Redevelopment Commission meeting, Plan Commission, Police Commission, or Board of Zoning Appeals meetings to learn more about the issue as well as express their views.

I promise to always keep an open line of communication between all elected leaders, department heads, and town associates. Not to mention transparency between town leaders and town residents. Have a question about a topic, just reach out. 

To view, a list of board and commission members as well as this year’s Town Council committee assignments click on the button links below. -Rick Bella

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