Columbus City Council will be considering tonight whether to make major changes to the way the city is governed.
At issue will be moving the city from a third class city under the state classification system, or moving up to second class status. Columbus is the largest third-class city in the state. Mayor Jim Lienhoop recently explained some of the changes:
Under the second class designation, the city would add two members to the City Council, the elected clerk-treasurer would become an elected clerk, while the city would appoint a comptroller to assume oversight of the city finances.
The city has been eligible for the change for more than 20 years. Qualifications are set by city size, with a benchmark of 35,000 set for many years. Columbus had just over 39,000 people as of the 2000 census, over 44,000 in 2010 and 50,474 as of 2020. The state recently decreased the size requirement to 34,000 and that will go into effect in July.
If approved, the change wouldn’t go into effect until January of 2024.
City Council meets at 6 p.m. tonight at Columbus City Hall. You can also watch a stream of the meeting on the city website at columbus.in.gov