Saying that since there will be no tax increase on the voters of Washington Township, City-County Council member Ike Randolph Jr. (District 1) announced today that he will vote for the consolidation of the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) and Washington Township Fire Department (WTFD).
"I have never believed this debate was about savings, but about taxes," Randolph said. "I have said time and again that I could not vote for consolidation as long as there was a tax increase attached to it. Now that Mayor Bart Peterson has agreed there will be no tax increase on the Washington Township voters, I can support the measure."
Randolph cited the Statehouse negotiations between House Speaker Brian Bosma and the Peterson Administration as part of the rationale for his decision.
"During those talks, the Mayor agreed to the Speaker’s position that there would be no tax increases in Marion County for fire protection in the Townships. That position was crucial for me to endorse this plan," Randolph noted.
"It is my hope now that both the Washington Township Fire Department and IFD will focus on efficiencies and other measures to ensure that citizens and both fire districts get top notch service and cost efficient government."
The Council is expected to vote on the measure on July 17.
"Now the City-County Council and Mayor’s office can move beyond the cosmetics of consolidation and concentrate on the more serious injuries of crime that’s hurting Indianapolis."
"I’ve also joined as co-sponsor to re-introduce Prosecutor Carl Brizzi’s ordinance for 250 more jail beds and encourage Mayor Peterson and Council President Monroe Gray to join me in denouncing partisan politics by moving this piece of legislation forward for the safety of our citizens." Randolph added.
Randolph has been an Indianapolis firefighter since 1986. He has been on the Council since January 2004. District 1 encompasses Northwest Pike Township.