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Variable term starts confusing

While county officials elected last month take their terms Jan. 1, Gov.-elect Mike Pence and public schools Supt.-elect Glenda Ritz have to wait a little longer.

State law requires both of those officeholders – as well as the attorney general, who is elected on the same four-year cycle – to begin their terms on the second Monday in January. Curiously, the statewide officeholders on the cycle that will next be elected in 2014 – the state auditor, state treasurer and secretary of state – begin their terms on Jan. 1.

And if that’s confusing, consider that state legislators begin their terms the day after the election.

2 views on Bennett

Here’s two different views from Florida about outgoing Indiana state schools Supt. Tony Bennett, who interviews for the job of Florida education commissioner today:

Beth Kassab, Orlando Sentinel columnist: “Odds are pretty good – excellent, in fact – that Tony Bennett will be Florida’s next education commissioner. When it comes to school reform, Bennett was the Jeb Bush of Indiana and has a résumé long on Florida-inspired changes he pushed on the Hoosiers to show for it.”

Tampa Bay Times editorial: “The voters of Indiana just ousted you from your elected position, and you didn’t apply for the Florida job until you lost the one you had. Why should Florida want what Indiana has rejected?”

Sunshine state, sunshine law

Bennett’s public interview with the Florida State Board of Education is more evidence that Florida’s open government law – such laws are sometimes referred to as “sunshine laws” because they shine a light on government – is much better than Indiana’s.

Consider that Florida had to release the name of the applicants for the position and the finalists before its public interviews.

Compare that with Indiana, where residents didn’t know that their governor was even considering becoming Purdue University president until his selection was announced. One of the finalists for Purdue’s leader – the others have never been officially announced – was interviewed somewhere on the grounds of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Indiana’s public access counselor – a Daniels appointee – said that was good enough to meet the requirements of the university trustees to post their closed meeting’s location.

Prepping for 2014

Seen while Christmas shopping: A woman wearing a “Gladieux for Sheriff” shirt.

Dave Gladieux has been chief deputy to Sheriff Ken Fries for the past six years, and many Republicans consider him not only the logical successor to Fries but one of the most respected officers in the department. He’s getting a good jump on an election two years away.

Tracy Warner, editorial page editor, has worked at The Journal Gazette since 1981. He can be reached at 461-8113 or by email, twarner@jg.net.

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