Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Fort Wayne, Mike Sylvester style

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 This tax should be repealed now that they are using for other things...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?

Mike Sylvester

9 comments:

Bartleby said...

How about reconciling #1 ...

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.

... with #6?

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.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Bartleby:

I think they can be reconciled rather easily...

I think that Cities shoud have a plan in place that helps determine where the City will grow.

I do NOT see this conflicting the Eminent Domain at all...

Mike Sylvester

Bartleby said...

Well, then, how about making #1 a little more accurate: "I want to live in a city that respects the property rights of its citizens, as long as those citizens don't want to use their land in some way that doesn't make sense to me."

Robert Enders said...

I concur with Bartleby on this issue. Let the free market decide if and where new strip malls get built.

David Corcoran said...

I want to live in a city that has a broad economy that is creating jobs that have sustainability so that one day my children might actually be able to live here rather than seeking their employment elsewhere.

I want to live in a city that doesn't ignore the young, professional population that have lots of extra money to spend at those small local businesses.

B.G. (Semper Paratus) said...

Mike:

You've got a damn good TOP TWELVE going...

I want to live in a city where criminals don't WANT to live...or even visit.

I want to live in a city where the welfare populace isn't trying to outnumber the working class thereby eroding the tax base further causing homeowners to pay MORE while they pay nothing or very little.

I want to live in a city where you still CAN take a walk ouside in the evenings during the summer (just try doing that safely on the SOUTH side...I dare 'ya).

But I can dream...the city hasn't found a way to tax THAT yet.

B.G.

Tim Zank said...

Bob, nobody told you about the new "dream" tax?

Robert Enders said...

I live on the South Side and I am not afraid to go out at night. I never carry cash though. Most of the killings are either domestic, gang, or drug related.

I just recently moved to Reed Street, (not to be confused with Reed Road on the north side, where Brandon Zahm shot his mother in the head) and everyone I've talked to seems nice. You shouldn't write off all of the South Side as one bad place to live.

B.G. (Semper Paratus) said...

TIm....Say it (the new dream tax)ain't so!!!

Rob:
Maybe you're fortunate enough to live in one of those pockets of civility down here...I am not.
I would grant you that there are portions of the south side that are probably pretty darn stable and nice. My neighborhood ain't one of them.

Now call me funny, but I find it offensive (and intrusive) to be acoustically assailed by boomcars to all hours, people driving onto the lawn, using MY driveway for u-turns, a brick through my window for no reason, the ocassional gunshots, public urination, several drugs deals in broad daylight on our street (per month), constant littering by young (food & candy wrappers) and old (beer cans & bottles), and an overall incessant disrespect (and a threat now and again) from people of a "diverse" persuasion...

Somehow that doesn't quite smack of that "midwest charm" to me...how 'bout you?

All this because we only keep to ourselves and don't bother a DAMN soul.

Talk about a study in tolerance.

Oh yeah...that's worth having MY property taxes constantly on the RISE!

B.G.