Council approves first reading of ordinance to move to ‘second class city’ status

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Columbus City Council voted Tuesday to approve the first reading of an ordinance changing the city of Columbus from a “third class city” to a “second class city.” The vote was 6-1, with Councilman Frank Miller, R-District 4, opposing the measure.

Ordinances must be passed on two readings to be fully approved; the council’s next meeting is scheduled for July 5. If the proposed legislation is approved, Columbus will officially become a second class city on Jan. 1, 2024. The change would entail certain changes to city structure, including the addition of two more city council members.

Tuesday’s council meeting was brief, only lasting about 10 minutes overall. The second class city proposal was the only item on the agenda, and it had already been discussed at length during the group’s June 7 meeting.

At the time, Miller expressed concern about the costs that such a change might entail.

“For me, it’s just growing government,” he said. “It’s growing the cost of government. And I can appreciate what the mayor has shared with us about the optional changes, and the way it’s proposed here is ‘We don’t anticipate doing this.’ That is this administration’s thought.”

However, future administrations could decide to enact these changes, he said, adding  that he sees no financial benefit to the change.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.