Vantage point

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Gotta Love America!

There are so many examples of how deliberative a democracy the United States really is. And how involved, passionate, and as a result, bizarre, elected officials at every level of the government are.

I just attended a conference in Indiana, where a Professor told us that all of Indiana was not in one time zone. Some counties were in eastern time zone (EST), others were in the Central. There has also been disagreement about whether daylight saving time should be implemented or not. And many counties keep changing their minds on all these issues. So "time" is apparently a big political hot-button topic in Indiana. So much so that time in Indiana has its own wikipedia page.

This particular portion of the page had me totally ROFLMAO. This is why China can never be a truly great country. Its political structure precludes such hilarity.

In 1991, Starke County petitions the Department of Transportation to be moved from the Central Time Zone to the Eastern Time Zone. The Department of Transportation grants the petition. Starke county is moved from the Central Time Zone to Eastern Time Zone effective October 27, 1991. (See 56 Federal Register 13609 and 56 Federal Register 51997)

2005 On April 29, 2005, with heavy backing from Governor Daniels' economic development plan, and after years of controversy, the Indiana legislature passed into law that on April 2, 2006, the entire state of Indiana would become the 48th state to observe daylight saving time. The bill was also accompanied by Senate Enrolled Act 127[3], which required Governor Daniels to seek Federal hearings from the United States Department of Transportation on whether to keep Indiana on Eastern Time with New York and Ohio or whether to move the entire state back to Central Time with Chicago[1].

2006 As a result of a review by the Department of Transportation, eight counties were moved from the Eastern Time Zone to the Central Time Zone, effective April 2, 2006. These were Starke and Pulaski Counties in the northwest; and Daviess, Dubois, Knox, Martin, Perry and Pike Counties in the southwest.

Pulaski and Martin counties, however, reconsidered their bids to join the Central Time Zone and decided to formally petition to be in the Eastern time zone. Pulaski County Commissioners and County Council both voted unanimously on February 6, 2006, to declare home rule and stay on Eastern Time if a federal agency did not grant an appeal to change the time-zone ruling. However, the county conceded on March 27, 2006, officially accepting Central Time and switching times zones on April 2, 2006[4]. After some residents pledged to unofficially continue observing Eastern Time, the county changed work hours for most county employees so that they were in sync with Eastern Time work hours[5]. Dubois, Daviess, Knox, and Pike Counties also decided to ask the federal government to return them to the Eastern Time Zone, the former voting to do so on April 27, 2006[6]. The confusion involving the time status of these counties led to them being dubbed the "seesaw six." St. Joseph, Marshall and Fulton Counties overtly expressed interest in making another attempt to be changed to Central Time as of the end of 2006"[7].

2007 On February 9, 2007, it was officially reported that the Department of Transportation had approved Pulaski County's returning to Eastern Time. The change went into effect on March 11, 2007, the date when daylight saving time resumed[8].

On September 20, 2007, DOT approved a petition from the five southwestern counties Daviess, Dubois, Knox, Martin and Pike to return to the Eastern Time Zone. The change went into effect when daylight saving time ended on November 3, 2007. A petition from Perry County to move to the Eastern Time Zone was denied[9].

With the exception of Perry and Starke counties, all counties that were moved to the Central Time Zone in 2006 were moved back to the Eastern Time Zone in 2007.