A bill preventing firefighters from serving on Township Boards was approved in Indiana about two years ago, but State Senator Jim Arnold is trying to exempt firefighters under new legislation.
Senator Arnold has filed a bill that would allow an individual to serve as both a member of a Township Board and a volunteer firefighter. The move comes after many rural areas have been experiencing problems finding individuals to serve in government.
Arnold says part of the reason for his proposal is that volunteer firefighters receive very little compensation.
“I feel that we need to make sure that these township people are adequately served,” says Arnold. “Volunteer firefighters have shown a commitment and dedication to their area to allow them to serve on the board.”
Arnold says that budgets are often overseen by other entities.
A bill, however, was recently introduced in the state house that would eliminate townships, bringing the fire department duties under county government if signed into law.
Arnold says that bill would solve the problem by eliminating the Township Board’s to actually serve on.
“You know, I’ve got to be honest with you, when it comes to the elimination of Township Boards, I’m not at all set that much against it,” says Arnold.
Arnold’s bill in the state Senate allows firefighters to run for re-election and assume Township office.