Several people have asked what I would "do differently" if I were in charge of Fort Wayne. My wife and I moved back to Fort Wayne to raise our family. Both of our children were born in Fort Wayne. My wife and I have lived in several different places and we came back to Fort Wayne mainly to be near our families.
We think that it is very important for our children to know their grand parents...
I think that most, if not all, of the readers of this blog want Fort Wayne to be a better place; we just disagree on how it should be done.
I think Sam Talarico wants the same things I do for Fort Wayne; we just disagree on how to get there. We both want to improve Fort Wayne.
Here is my vision for Fort Wayne:
1. I want to live in a City that respects the property rights of its citizens. I despise the way Fort Wayne has consistently abused the power of Eminent Domain and has taken property from certain private property owners and given it to other private property owners while the taxpayers pay for the transaction. It is wrong.
2. I want to live in a City that keeps its promises to the citizenry. The Allen County Food and
Beverage Tax was passed as a temporary tax that would pay FOR ONE SPECIFIC PROJECT. This tax should be repealed now that they are using for other things... If local officials think they need that tax then they should repeal the old tax and start a new one. This time they should be honest up front...
3. I want to live in a City that acknowledges and pays its debts. We have a pension liability of over 200 million dollars. This needs to be resolved.
4. I want to live in a City that encourages small businesses rather then granting tax abatements to companies like WalMart. Fort Wayne needs to encourage the growth of small business by decreasing the number of regulations in place and by repealing personal property taxes on all small businesses.
5. I want to live in a City that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation by supporting small and innovative companies that can grow into mid sized companies. Our elected officials are TRYING to accomplish this with the NIIC center. I would rather see a program that helped all small business rather then a specific few small businesses...
6. I want to live in a City that has a comprehensive plan in place regarding future development and growth. Currently developers are allowed to build almost anything they want in almost any location they want. We are building countless strip malls at the edges of our City AND at the same time pouring money into Downtown. This does NOT make economic sense in my opinion.
7. I want to live in a City that LISTENS to the Neighborhood Associations and the desires of its citizens. Neighborhood Associations lose to Developers about 95% of the time in Fort Wayne. This must stop. I would like to see a couple of Neighborhood Association Presidents added to the Planning Commission.
8. I want to live in a City that believes in itself. I am sick and tired of hiring outside consultants to come to Fort Wayne and tell us what "we should do." Give me a break. We have plenty of local talent and we need to start allowing our local talent lead this community.
9. I want to live in a City that has less then 7062 (As of March 6th, 2007) outstanding arrest warrants at any given time. We need to give law enforcement the tools they need to serve these warrants and we need to ensure that the court system is not issuing frivolous warrants for minor zoning violations and the like...
10. I want to live in a City that tries to be Fort Wayne. We do not need to try to emulate Indianapolis or any other City.
11. I want to see the "patronage" that exists in Fort Wayne ended. "Cronyism" and "patronage" are both rampant...
12. Indiana has the 11th HIGHEST State and local tax rate in the United States. Property taxes are sky-rocketing in Fort Wayne. This must be stopped at all costs...
I could go on; however, I think this is a good start.
What would you add to this list? What is on my list that is not on your list?