It has become obvious to me that no matter what is revealed to the public about Harrison Square the project is going to be "defended" by those who believe in it.
It is also obvious to me that the reverse is true; there is nothing that could make me support the project and I think the project is extremely mis-guided to say the least. My opinion will not change and I am going to be every bit as "set in my ways" as the project's supporters.
I find it somewhat sad that all of the opponents of the project read the Audit report and we all think it supports our dislike of the project; while at the same time the supporters of the project read the Audit report and "do not think it is a big deal."
The entire project comes down to two things at this point.
First City Council must approve the 18 million dollar loan tonight at the City Council meeting. I think there is no doubt that Shoaf, Schmidt, and Smith will oppose the project again. I also think there is no doubt that Hines, Talarico, and Pape will again vote for the project.
Everything will boil down to the three City Councilmen who voted for the project; however, have expressed doubt at various points. It is all up to Didier, Hayhurst, and Crawford. Councilman Crawford is especially important because he is in a tough re-election battle and he has been publicly telling people that he will change his vote if it turns out the law has been violated...
Second is the DLGF approval of a property tax financed bond for the project. This is all up to Cheryl Musgrave. I am think she will vote AGAINST the Harrison Square bond being approved; or at the very least, take 180 days to reach her decision. Unfortunately, if she stops the bond from being backed with property taxes, the City will assuredly then pursue getting a bond that is not backed with property taxes at a cost to the taxpayers of 4 million dollars.
Several people have contacted me and asked me if I thought the City would spend an additional 4 million dollars if the DLGF does not approve the Harrison Square Bond. The Mayor has made it clear that he will push to spend the additional four million if needed... Let there be no doubt; the four million additional dollars will not stop ANY of the Harrison Square supporters from supporting that option. It is just money, they seem to think that Harrison Square is worth nearly any cost.
I strongly advise the people who feel strongly about this issue to vote in November. We desperately need some new faces on our City Council and we desperately need a new Mayor (Which we will get since Mayor Richards is not running for re-election).
What is most appalling about this project is that those 601 voters who were recently polled about this project oppose it almost 5 to 2. In other words if 7 Fort Wayne residents were having dinner 5 would be against the project and 2 in favor of it. This does not seem to effect most of our elected officials in the slightest.
Our elected officials seem to be daring the public to vote them out of office.
Even more appalling, I have repeatedly heard that the voters would be in favor of the project if they just understood it.
Give me a break...