Sunday, February 11, 2007

Fort Wayne City Council votes wrong way; again

I am leaning towards running for City Council in 2011. The reasons are many; however, this story illustrates one of my reasons very well...

Please read these two letters to the editor:

"Council ignored public with vote on strip mall"
"Reconsider vote on zoning change"

<http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/news/editorial/16676320.htm>

The Fort Wayne City Planning Commission does ALMOST anything that a developer asks it to do. The statistics are staggering. Well over 95% of proposed projects are approved...

I am the President of my neighborhood association. I have watched a member of the City Planning Commission ridicule one of my neighbors when we opposed a project.

Neighborhood Associations in Fort Wayne have no say about what goes on in their area... They are routinely ignored...

I am glad the The City Planning Commission UNANIMOUSLY voted against building ANOTHER strip mall on the edge of Fort Wayne. WE WILL NEVER DEVELOP DOWNTOWN FORT WAYNE IF WE KEEP BUILDING STRIP MALLS AT THE EDGES OF FORT WAYNE.

I am appalled that our City Council OVERTURNED the decision of the City Planning Commission and is going to allow this strip mall to be built...

This is another BAD DECISION...

This vote was NOT along party Lines.

The Councilmen that voted on the right side of this issue were:
Tom Didier (R). I would like to say that Tom is turning into a better City Councilman each year.
Tom Hayhurst (D). Tom has a history of supporting neighborhood associations.
Tom Smith (D). This is in Tom's district and he made the right choice.
John Shoaff (D). I do not know ANYTHING about John.

The Councilmen that voted with the Developer and against the wishes of the neighborhoods AND the City Planning Commission were:
John Crawford (R). John is proving to be a big government Republican.
Sam Talarico (R). Sam has long been a big government Republican.
Glynn Hines (D). I am very disappointed in Glynn. He is a big proponent of Downtown development, yet, he is approving another project at the edge of Fort Wayne.
Don Schmidt (R). Don is my City Councilman and this is just another reason for me to support Karen Goldner in her quest to replace Don.
Tim Pape (D). I am very disappointed in Tim. He is a big proponent of Downtown development, yet, he is approving another project at the edge of Fort Wayne.

I am very disappointed in out City Council.

I suggest you "vote the bums out" this November. There are only a couple of incumbents that I would consider supporting at this point. I would most likely vote for either Didier or Hayhurst. I am unsure about the rest; however, I most likely would not vote for most of them unless they were running against someone who was completely unacceptable.

What do you think?

Mike Sylvester

4 comments:

Robert Enders said...

This is a property rights issue. I can see opposing it if it is near a residential area. Do very many people live near this site? If so, why do they object to a strip mall nearby, but still choose to live near an elementry school?

What gets me is that people move to live close to work or school, then complain about traffic. People complain that there is nothing to do in this town, and then complain when somebody wants to build something.

To me this a property rights issue. The developers own the property, and should be allowed to do whatever they want with it as long as it does not interfere with the rights of nearby property owners to use their own lots as they see fit.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

I am surprised that you take the words in one letter to the editor and run with it like it is gospel. The letter to the editor says we "overturned" the plan commission. Thats not how it works. The Plan Commission offers a recommendation, which in this case was "do not pass". However, the Planning Department (after significant leg work) offerred a "Do Pass" recommendation. These sort of split recommendations are always tough to deal with. The Planning department felt that this was appropriate development and we have been told that the safety issues are mitigated by the fact that the school at issue does not allow its students to walk to school unless they live in Jonathon Oaks which has a pathway does not require kids to cross the street. Its my understanding that the FWCS have taken a neutral position on this development.

It is a difficult decision to make. Mike, If you are elected in 2011 you will quickly find out that you will always have people mad at you. You cant make everybody happy. I will not miss that part of the job. Every time there is a zoning issue, I try to listen to all sides and make the right call. Keep in mind that the intersection at issue is already a very busy intersection.

Sam Talarico, Jr.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Sam Talarico:

You are 100% correct I did read the two letters to the editor and "run with them!"

I am glad that you pointed out why yuo voted how you did.

I will make another post tomorrow and highlight some of your reasons...

I appreciate it that you pointed them out!

Mike Sylvester

Jeff Pruitt said...

Mike:

I watched the entire meeting and Sam's characterization is correct although I do not recall anyone discussing FWCS's position at that time.

I have no doubt this was a tough decision but I feel like the wrong decision was made here. I believe I would tend to side w/ the councilman whose district the project resides in when it comes to these types of split decisions.

On the other hand I would like to thank the council for rejecting the other plan that night at Lima and Wallen Rd - that was truly a poor idea. I agree that the R1 zoning on that property is going to have to change at some point but the idea presented wasn't the right way to go.

And while we're on the subject the car lot that's being put in as an outlot in front of the old Central Soya building at Lima and Cook is a real eyesore. I can't imagine a worse idea than that...