Saturday, October 06, 2007

What are the issues?

This campaign season for city council has a new twist that I have not seen before. There definitely are more candidates to choose from, but more importantly, what the message that candidates are stating. The Meet and Greet hosted by the YLNI clearly showed that both Democrats and Republicans have moved towards a more fiscal message. All but one candidate embraced the view of civil rights, small government and minimizing red tape. however, their words and views are not backed up by decades of actual leadership or the lack there of.

One even mentioned the $3.1 million reduction in expenses or reduction in total property taxes collected passed by the city council recently. The problem I have with this is, why give this tax back to the taxpayers when the city OWES $214 million to fund the police and fire pensions. That is right, the city council has not addressed the 40 year old known problem of funding police and fire pensions prior to 1977. The state will cease its 50% contribution in 2009. Many of the council have served multiple terms. Why have then not addressed this? Why are they addressing such things a smoking ban, signs, Harrison Square, Headwaters Park and more when the CITY OWES $214 million? However, this is small potatoes compared the storm water sewer EPA mandate. Over ten years ago the city was notified by the EPA that it had to separate its storm sewers from its sewage sewers. Has the city done this yet? Have they planned how to do this? Have they any idea how they will fund this more than $300 million to $500 million mandate?

At the same time the Fort Wayne City Schools have failed to adequately maintain the schools. They recently tried to borrow $500 million, but the property owners voted no.

The Allen County Library several years ago expanded the library at a cost of $85 million. Northwest Allen County schools is expanding Carroll High School and is planning a new elementary.

The individual taxing authorities need to work together instead of in a vacuum. The Library said the average property tax increase would be $50 to $75. NWAS said the increase in property tax would be about $235 now add another $50 for the elementary. I do not know about you, but I think all these taxing authorities need new blood. We need people who understand that money does not grow on trees. We need people who understand that the source of all revenues is us.

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NBC-33 Debate poll results from 2002