Change Fort Wayne, a funny and sarcastic local blog, has been defending the Harrison Square Project as being the only possible thing that can benefit Fort Wayne and spends a lot of time making fun of me. I enjoy their blog quite a bit.
I have decided to post another list of things that I think should be done to help improve Downtown Fort Wayne.
I hope that all of the Supporters of Harrison Square take the time to do the same thing. Some of these ideas are not very Libertarian; however, since I know we are going to keep pouring hundreds of millions of public dollars into Downtown I want to see that money not wasted:
1. I think we should build a casino in Downtown Fort Wayne. That will draw people from at least a 60 mile radius.
2. I think we should stop building strip malls at the edges of Fort Wayne. Everytime we build a new strip mall new businesses move into the new strip mall from their old locations. Fort Wayne has way too much commerical property and can only support so much retail space. I am actually looking to buy or build commercial property in Fort Wayne. We have thousands of commercial locations available; yet, we are still building more and building them on the edges of the City.
3. I think Fort Wayne should have done more to prevent Parkview from moving north of Fort Wayne. I would guess that as many as 80% of the medical businesses surrounding Parkview on State will move north in the next few years. Imagine what is going to happen to that part of town.
4. I think Fort Wayne should meet with every local college and univeristy in this area and should attempt to convince them to offer more advanced degrees in Fort Wayne. There are several advanced degrees that are offered by multiple colleges in the Fort Wayne area. Possibly we could "plan" and offer more different advanced degrees.
5. I would like to see Fort Wayne do more to help small business owners succeed in Fort Wayne. I think that Personal Property Taxes should be eliminated for small business owners entirely.
6. I think the Sheriff should be located Downtown.
7. I think that the City Planning Department needs to stop allowing developers to build anything they want on the edges of Fort Wayne. I think that The City Planning Department should limit development at the edges of Fort Wayne, this would ensure that developers spend more time "in-filling" our core.
8. I think the City should consider offering small public subsidies to build new projects Downtown. I do not want to see the City put up 50% of the project costs; however, I would support the City subsidizing some of the following projects Downtown:a. An olympic swimming pool.b. A pedestrian bar and restaurant district.c. There are many other projects that might work.
9. I think that we need to encourage small businesses to relocate Downtown. We currently subsidize a large number of small businesses at the NIIC center. I would like to see Fort Wayne stop giving so much in subsidies to large businesses and start to funnel a lot more of it to small businesses. This could be done by helping small businesses locate property Downtown and by streamlining the permit process.
10. I think we need to eliminate wasteful Government spending and lower the taxes on both business owners and residents. This will leave residents and business owners with more money that will be spent in the local economy.
11. Fort Wayne Government needs to stop hiring outside consultants for every little thing. We have plenty of competant people in Fort Wayne and we need to keep our money in this area. Imagine how good it would be for local businesses if Fort Wayne gave a preference to local businesses!
Please let me know what your ideas are to improve Downtown and what you think of mine.
I have a feeling that Change Fort Wayne will post a list including:
1. Build a new minor league Baseball Stadium Downtown because that is what young professionals want.
2. Build a new Parking Garage Downtown to help encourage people to walk around a more pedestrian Downtown.
3. Build high end condominiums downtown for all of the young professionals to live in. They all have at least $200,000 to spend on 1000 square foot condos and would love to spend that money next to a ballpark that has a sinlge A baseball team playing in it.
I am looking forward to hearing your response.