For many years, the Allen County Board of Commissioners had a reputation for being dysfunctional and preferring to fight – rather than cooperate with – city government. The commissioners havent completely turned that reputation around, but much progress has been made in recent years, much of it due to Nelson Peters role as a commissioner.
He has warranted re-election to a third term.
It seems doubtful that the city and county would have merged their 911 emergency dispatch operations or agreed to co-locate with city government in two downtown buildings without Peters, 54, who played a key role on each massive project.
He also helped set up a health clinic for Allen County government employees, bringing doctors on site to create an urgent care center and saving money for both taxpayers and workers.
He rightly wants to work with city government – and perhaps even downtown employers – to expand the program and help share costs.
And it was near the conclusion of Peters first term that the commissioners finally approved financing of the long-delayed Maplecrest Road project; it is scheduled to open within days.
Gordon Anthony, 70, is one of the better Democratic candidates in recent years to run for commissioner, an office the party has been unable to win since the 1974 post-Watergate Democratic blowout nationwide. A former president of the firefighters union and a 2011 candidate for City Council, Anthony argues county government would be more accountable if at least some Democrats were elected to countywide office.
Indianas system of a three-member executive overseeing county government is unwieldy, but the office has shown much progress during Peters tenure.
Coming Thursday: County coroner and county treasurer.