Press Release from the Matt Kelty Campaign
Kelty Leads Charge Against Harrison Square as Proposed by the City
54% of Residents in Recent Poll are Opposed, Nearly 76% Against the Ballpark and Public Financing of Project
Editors clarification about Zogby poll:
Nearly 9,000 calls were made to obtain a statistically significant sampling resulting in a +/-5% margin of error.
Updated by Mike Sylvester at 1:29 PM, 4/5/7.
Fort Wayne, IN., April 5, 2007 – Conservative Republican mayoral candidate Matt Kelty today released the results of a recent poll showing a majority of Fort Wayne residents are opposed to the Harrison Square project as proposed by City officials. Kelty supports a market-driven approach to downtown redevelopment, his opponent in the May primary, Nelson Peters, supports the city’s government-driven plan for Harrison Square.
"The results of the poll are consistent with, my position on the project, and with what I am hearing from voters at neighborhood association meetings, neighborhood walks, and meetings around the city", said Kelty. "Though I am for redeveloping the downtown, from the information provided so far, I just don’t think the ballpark and public financing parts of the project make economic sense for the citizens of Fort Wayne", remarked the candidate.
The random poll of likely Fort Wayne voters was conducted between 27-29 Mar 07 by Zogby International. The margin of error of the poll is +/-5%.
Q: Do you support or oppose the Harrison Square downtown development as proposed by the City of Fort Wayne?
Not Sure 14.5%
Q: Whether or not you support or oppose the project as a whole, which one of the following parts of the City’s proposed Harrison Square project are you most opposed to?
Parking Gagage 1.5%
Public Financing 18.4%
Retail Space 2.5%
Not Sure 14.4%
"The fate of this project is in the hands of City Council, as Mayor I, like everyone else, will have to live with any decision they make, and I won’t be able to undo it", said Kelty. "What I can do though, is make sure the people are heard on this issue, and hope the City Council is listening."
According to City administration officials, the City’s proposal for the Harrison Square project is scheduled to be presented to the Fort Wayne City Council for a vote this month. In the mayor’s own plan (http://www.cityoffortwayne.org/images/stories/news/harrison/fact_sheet.pdf), in the Hardball Capital aspect of the Harrison Square deal, the City will be putting up $54M of taxpayer funding to Hardball’s $23M for the Harrison Square development.
"Notwithstanding the fact we already have a publicly funded ballpark, I am having a difficult time understanding how paying Hardball Capital $2.35 of taxpayer dollars for every $1.00 of private investment is a good deal for the City of Fort Wayne", said Kelty. "Proponents of the project will ask me if not this, then what? If given the kind of time the administration and City Council has had to develop this project, I know I could come up with some better alternatives, but I’m not going to make a snap decision now, that’s what’s got us into this mess to begin with. It’s not about taking a risk or making a decision; it’s about taking a manageable risk and making a correct decision. The two choices are not the same; the second choice takes into account the public interest, and requires good judgment."
About the Kelty for Mayor 2007 Campaign
Matt Kelty, 42, is the Conservative Republican candidate running for Fort Wayne Mayor in 2007, and the President of Kelty Tappy Design, Inc., a commercial architectural and urban design firm located in downtown Fort Wayne in the Lincoln Tower.
Matt is married to the former Tami Thomas of Kendallville, IN and is the father of four children, Lauren (15), John (11), Allison (11) and David (9). Additional information about the Kelty for Mayor 2007 Campaign can be found at: