Thursday, April 05, 2007

Zoby poll of Fort Wayne residents and their feelings on Harrison Square

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?
Support 31.6%
Oppose 54%
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?
Ballpark 57.3%
Condos 4.5%
Hotel 1.4%
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 (, 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:


Anonymous said...

That many "unsure" responses creates a de facto large margin of error. Those people could swing either way once final details are released.

Frederick said...

I believe the +/-5% margin of error statistically already accounts for all responses. If applied, the opposition to the Harrison Square project as proposed by the city is outside the margin of error.

Anonymous said...

looks like opposition has gone way down since the last poll

Anonymous said...

Who paid for the poll? Why not release the whole poll?

Jeff Pruitt said...

I think that's about what most of us thought the numbers were. I don't remember anyone actually arguing that the supporters outnumbered the opposition...

Anonymous said...

WOW. The opposition has gone way down since the first poll.

Attitudes are changing

Bill Hennessey said...

I don't thing the attitudes are changing that much. People are treating a Zogby poll like they would a NS poll.

Zogby is scientific. NS is not.

It doesnt matter whther a few people have changed their position. That always happens. What matters is that most people still oppose this project.

David Corcoran said...

Kelty supports a "market-driven" approach to downtown redevelopment.

What exactly does this mean ? Its not like the private sector has stepped up to solving the downtown issue in the past 20 years, whats going to change that now ?

brian said...

If Kelty has great ideas for downtown development (using private investment), wouldn't now be the time to release his ideas while he is running for Mayor of the city?

Change Fort Wayne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I can't wait to hear Kelty's secret plan!!!!!

Anonymous said...

His secret plan is hardware stores all over downtown. They will give everyone in the city "hope"

barranda said...

That's interesting, beacause I was sitting next to Matt Kelty when he conducted his own informal poll at a Rotarian meeting. By a show of hands, Matt asked whether they supported or opposed the project. The room was split evenly. It would appear Matt has a selective memory about what meetings he attends.

Robert Enders said...

Not every issue requires popular support. You can theoretically fight and win an unpopular war. But how can a unpopular plan to attract more visitors to downtown work?
"Gosh, I was really against building the ballpark and stores downtown. But since we spent all that money on it, I might as well go shopping there instead of at a store that is close to where I live."

Jeff Pruitt said...

I'm not sure how anyone supporting Harrison Square could spin this into good news. The previous poll was bogus and everybody knew it. This one APPEARS to be much more scientific and germane to the actual question at hand - namely do you support HARRISON SQUARE.

The fact that the support is so low has got to be demoralizing to the administration. I suppose the optimist outlook would be that they just have more work to do and perhaps if the final financing package looks good then some of the opposed will start to swing into the support column...

Anonymous said...

Screw Harrison Square...we need to fix-up the Fort Wayne Ballet's building. That will do far more to help economic development.

barranda said...

"Gosh, I was really against building I69 to go through downtown. I think I'm gonna take Bluffton Rd. instead."

"Gosh, I was really against building the ballpark and stores downtown. I'm never going to go to a game there because I'm sooooo bitter about it."

"Gosh, I was really against building the baseball stadium downtown. I'm not going to use the adjacent parking garage when I go to the baseball game."

"Gosh, I was really against building the ballpark and stores downtown. Since I never went to the games anyway, it won't really matter. I wonder how I can convince the other 300,000 patrons to boycott the games too."

"Gosh, 70% of Ft. Wayne is against the downtown baseball stadium and retail. That means only 200,000 people from the remaining metropolitan area will visit downtown fort wayne."

Anonymous said...

Your comment just comes off as someone who resents the difference of opinion.

Projects like this are about the entire community. Not just a subset (which you hyper-inflated by the way).

Most people dont feel that this is the right project at the right time to improve downtown.

barranda said...


Explain what I hyper-inflated, and I'll respond.

As for my disdain of those who differ in opinion; I wonder how you were able to deduce this from my sarcastic post. It seems as though you missed the point. Sorry.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

The poll just shows what everyone knows; I majority of Fort Wayne residents oppose this project as is...


I have no doubt that you will get variable results depending on who you poll...

When I have polled elderly residents I have gotten as many as 95% opposed to the project...

The important thing to realize is that a majority of residents oppose the plan.

There are a lot of reasons for this; the largest is moving our baseball stadium...

Jeff Pruitt:

Of course this poll is not good news for those who support Harrison Square. That is why so many of them are attacking it.

Mike Sylvester

Change Fort Wayne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You know, here is the simple solution for those opposed to Harrison Square:

Find a project YOU would support, and find an investor to make it happen.

Change Fort Wayne said...

Robert Enders -

The point of a downtown is to have unique set of stores. Notice your argument doesn't work for "Gosh, I'm hungry. I think I'll go to the Arby's downtown"

But it would work for, "Gosh, I was against the overall project, but they've got an Cheesecake Factory downtown."

Jeff - I won't believe percentages, no one knows numbers behind the sample - how many young people were questioned? Young people do not own LAN lines.

Anonymous said...


Aren't you the guy that was attacking other people's spelling and grammar? Buddy, take a look at the glass house you are living in. Your writing borders on unintelligible.

Change Fort Wayne said...

Thanks Teach.


Sorry Mike - I don't mean to clog your blog.

Anonymous said...

Out of those "nearly 9,000 calls made", how many people actually answered their phones????????

Anonymous said...

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

Funny ... he has had the same amount of time and has no plan ... sound like a guy with no plan.

Anonymous said...

It bothers me that Kelty said on News 15 that 9,000 people were polled. Only 402 answered their phones. Why does he inflate everything he talks about? He'd be much better off just telling the truth.

Anonymous said...

Mike and Jeff, the two of you always have very well thought out posts (even though I disagree with most), please review the 76% number that Kelty uses in press release and how he arrived at such number by adding the two columns. Please also carefully read question number 2 (which by its wording demands a negative response). After reviewing, do the two of you honestly believe that Kelty is properly using that 76% number in press release?

Also, please visit News SEntinel website tonight. Kelty is re-issuing his press release to correct two MINOR details:

1. Only Republican Primary Voters were polled!

2. Only 402 people responded.

No. 1 seems critically important.



Anonymous said...

Another buzz commisioned by AngryWhiteBoy. Seems that AWG is nothing more than a Kelty Puppet.

David Corcoran said...

Why does he inflate everything he talks about?

Because the primaries are just days away ....

Jeff Pruitt said...


I emphasized the word "appears" in my post because no one at the time had published the details about the poll.

After learning some of these details I will certainly admit that it isn't as damning as I originally thought.

While I still believe the numbers in the poll represent the feelings of the general populace I will admit that there is no hard data to back that up...

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Sam Talarico:

I do not speak for the Kelty campaign.

There is NO DOUBT in my mind that a majority of Fort Wayne residents oppose putting a publicly financed ballpark downtown. I would not be surprised if 76% of Fort Wayne residents oppose putting a ballpark downtown...

I would tend to agree with Sam Talarico (GASP) that the polling data does not necessarily show that 76% of residents are against the ballpark and public financing of the project due to the way the second question was worded.

As far as Sam's other two points:

The poll consists of likely primary voters; they polled Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and Libertarians. Zogby did seem to contact a large number of Republican and Independent voters.

I think polling over 400 people is a huge number. Zogby tried to contact almost 9000. That is a huge number in Fort Wayne.

Mike Sylvester

Andrew Kaduk said...

A couple of things I notice here...

Mike, you are usually a universal skeptic...I'm actually surprised that you lend any credibility to a poll with such a limited sample.

I'm actually not as concerned with the "elderly" opinion of this project, because quite frankly, their complacency is what has kept the Fort from progressing as a metro area thus far. It's a vicious cycle...Young people leave, except the broke ones...and the remainder breed and grow old. The smart kids leave, and the remainder breed and grow old...

If this pattern keeps up, who is left? That's why I think it's entirely possible that the "majority" may be absolutely wrong on this. The "majority" is comprised of a significant number of apathetic complainers. The majority is not the "Club Soda" crowd...or the discriminating consumers...the majority is made up of the Wal-Mart shopping, new car LEASING, credit card maxing, Red Lobster loving, gas price bitching, sushi hating, Bud Light drinking, K-Fed adoring, American Idol watching, lotto ticket scratching "woulda, coulda, shoulda" armchair quarterbacking 9-to-5'ers that are about to become extinct in the modern economy.

Is it really a good idea to let such a mindset take refuge here? Is that what all of us want to define us as a community? That's where we currently everybody cool with that?

I'm not.

Oh, BTW Mike, give me a call when you get a chance.

Robert Enders said...

The "purpose" of downtown historically was to be the center of the city, where government offices were located so to be equally accesable to all residents. Due to annexation, Downtown Fort Wayne is no longer the geographic center of the city. The fastest growing parts of town are mostly north of Coliseum Blvd. Downtown is a great place to have a law firm or corporate office, but not a good place for retail.

barranda said...


You just described the phenomenon of urban sprawl. You exacerbate the problem by discouraging downtown retail. Not only do you turn away additional tax revenue, explain what kind of employees will work for a "law firm or corporate office" in a downtown devoid of retail and entertainment.

Change Fort Wayne said...

Same goes for Chicago - it isn't the center of the city. Is downtown a terrible place for retail? I realize that we are not Chicago and never will be.

Also, downtown is a great place to get food, so you're saying people are willing to go downtown for food, but not retail?

Magnum TA said...

I go downtown every month to put my child support in the drop box. Ok, sometimes I skip a month, or two, or three...

I go downtown every now and then to eat at the soup kitchen when I have spent all of my money on Maddog. Normally on these days I also stand over by the YMCA and ask for loose change. You Fort Wayne folks aren't very charitable.

I go downtown every now and then to buy a NEW pair of used underwear at the salvation army store. It is cheaper to buy a new pair than to wash them.

I go downtown every now and then to sell my plasma. Luckily, they stay open late so when I am hungry and the soup kitchen has closed I am able to get some money for food and some spirits.

I used to go downtown more often when Boudoir Noir was down there, but luckily they moved a little closer to my cousin's home. Whenever I go and sleepover at her house we like to go there to pick up a movie and some toys for the evening.

Whenever I am sick I don't mess around going to Mathew 25, I go straight to the St Joe Emergency Room which is also located downtown.

Yeah, downtown is a very important place. What we really need is a methadone clinic downtown.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Andrew Kaduk:

What on Earth are you talking about?

When you poll over 400 poeple in an area the size of Fort Wayne you are polling a HUGE number of people. It took almost 9000 phone calls to get 400 responses.

Do you think they should call more then 9000 people? That is crazy.

Also I have infornally polled a lot more poeple and my results are even more against Harrison Square then the Zogby poll.

Of course I think that a significant majority of Fort Wayne residents are against Harrison Square!

In fact, I will take it a step farther and I will say that I am 100% sure that a majority of Fort Wayne residents oppose Harrison Square.

Mike Sylvester

Magnum TA said...

Oh yeah, I forgot one. Last week, my cousin went to the abortion clinic downtown over by the library which is also downtown.

I know what you are thinking. No it wasn't mine. We use protection.

Andrew Kaduk said...

400 people out of 330,000 in an area that is about 78 square miles is sufficient?

If this were any other poll, you'd be piping up about how flawed the thing was...

Robert Enders said...

I go downtown when there is something downtown that I cannot get anywhere else: attend a city council hearing, pick up a book at the main branch of the library, or when my company sends me to a downtown client site. I also drive through downtown on my way to the north side of town. If I want food or gas while downtown, I buy it there because it is convenient. There are also several high end restaurants downtown that are usually frequented by those who live and work downtown: Henry's, Park Place Grill, Club Soda, the Palace. (wait, stratch that last one.) I'll be meeting with some friends tonight at Henry's because some of them live on the north side and I live on the South side and a downtown location is mutually convenient for all of us.

You also insist that downtown is devoid of entertainment. It has the library, a movie theater, several museums, and two live theaters. It has the nice high brow stuff, just nothing that Joe Six-Pack would like.

But the reason why I don't think retail would work is because retail is heavily dependant on the holiday season. You would need stores with spacious parking lots to accommodate holiday shoppers. And they'll choose Glenbrook and Jefferson Pointe over any place that makes them pay for parking. Maybe I could be wrong, but if someone thinks that they can open a successful shop downtown, let them risk their own capital and leave Fort Wayne tax dollars out of this. And the best of luck to them.

Change Fort Wayne said...

magnum - you're an idiot.

You really haven't been downtown lately, Boudoir Noir is still downtown.

LP Mike Sylvester said...


I hope that the poll was of Fort Wayne residents. There are about 250,000 Fort Wayne residents...

400 respondents out of 250,000 is plenty...

They called almost 9000...


Magnum TA said...

Mr. Change,

Boudoir Noir is across the river. From a walkers point of view that is a little too far to be considered downtown - though I will admit it is borderline.

Another bonus of Boudoir Noir moving is that they are closer to my favorite tattoo parlor, Wildman's Tattoos on Wells. Yeah, there are tons of tattoo parlors downtown but they just don't put the ink on up to this brotha's standards. If I went to one of those joints downtown I'd be a sure sissified poser. I might get treated just a little too friendly next time I end up in the county slammer WHICH IS ALSO DOWNTOWN.

Who says there is nothing to do downtown?

Magnum TA

PS: Let me know the next time that you go to Boudoir Noir, perhaps we can meet up or something...

Change Fort Wayne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Change Fort Wayne said...

Ignorance prevails!

BN is on the south side of the river, the same side as downtown.

Enjoy your idiotic point, I realize you are joking around, but please educate yourself on the subject before you try to do battle.

Magnum TA said...

Dude you are right! I just realized that BN is on Superior, which is obviously downtown. My apologies, sometimes I forget which side of the bridge I sleep under...

That and whenever I go to BN my heart starts thumping really hard and my blood pressure goes through the roof. I get a little disoriented.

Count Boudoir Noir as still another reason another great reason to visit downtown Fort Wayne. (But they were a little more convenient when they were located off of Washington)

So when do you want to meet at Boudoir Noir, Change?

What we really need downtown is some high profile nudie bars. Word on the street is that Poor John's, the nudie club over on Calhoun, is going to add a second floor to their establishment when the Harrison Square project moves forward.

I also hope they put in some slot machines and off track betting.

Andrew Kaduk said...

If only 400 people voted in the Fort Wayne mayoral election, would you be telling me that a "majority" of people elected the mayor?

Or, would you tell me that a majority of "voters" elected the mayor?

I realize it's all just semantics, but c'mon...I can go to Piere's tonight and poll 500 people without duplicating anyone...people from all races, economic backgrounds...

What do you suppose my results would look like? :)

I have a pretty good idea of what they would look like.

Ok, does 400 people who picked up their phones represent ANYTHING other than...well, exactly that...400 people who picked up their phones? Sorry, but it seems silly to say that ANY 400 person sample out of a field of a Quarter of a MILLION could be considered a valid representation of the masses...and yet, there are many who keep referring to this poll as the end-all/be-all quantification of public sentiment.

I, Mr. Sylvester, actually think that your stance on this is simply because the poll agrees with you.

Anonymous said...

there are 100,000 registered voters in Fort Wayne

Maybe 15,000 active participants in this primary

9000 calls

400 likely voters

That comes to 3% of the expected turnout next month. That IS considered a significant sampling for the use of a political poll.

If you still think that this poll is skewed, insignificant, or wrong I suggest checking out the zogby website to educate yourselves on statistical sampling. Zogby Website

Andrew Kaduk said...

Everybody knows that most primary voters are nearly-deads and a tiny sampling of those people is hardly one reflects "public opinion," unless somehow their opinions carry more weight because they just happened to be at home when the phone rang...

bud said...


Do you really doubt that a majority of Fort Wayne opposes a new baseball stadium? I know that Hardball has assured us that the City has pushed them to a point where any more investment (more than 250K x 20 years) in a $30 million (plus) stadium makes "no economic sense," but don't you think they could come up with a spare 20K to do their own polling? That would seem sensible if they are confident that everybody loves the idea now that it has been fully explained.
The mayor has already assured that he can make a poll show whatever he wants.

Andrew Kaduk said...

About 30% of adults in Fort Wayne do not own their homes, but rather rent/lease them instead.

That's a huge chunk of the population who don't care how the numbers on this construction project do or do not add up.

Anonymous said...

Precicely Andrew, they dont bear any risk as opposed to the homeowner.

The city has a terrible track record in economic development. All of them have been financial disasters.

Its the homeowner who ends up paying the price when these projects fail. Few have faith that this project will buck the trend.

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