Friday, January 28, 2011

My Disappointment

Fort Wayne has some money coming, nearly half has been 35 years in the making and the other half comes from future leasing of all retail electric utility rights for Fort Wayne. All in all both sums total up to about $75 million.

A decent chunk of change, a large amount, but in today's standards not a huge amount. About enough to build three more Parkview fields... I'm kidding. Fort Wayne can't seem to act fast enough to spend, save, invest, develop, or utilize this money fast enough. So the city has setup a commission of 15 people to determine the best ideas are and how to utilize this money from public input.

So as of last night the task force of 15 are set.

The members are:

Quinton Dixie, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Co-chairman

James Vann, Chairman, Board of Directors, Rea Magnet Wire Company, Inc., Co-chairman

Marty Bender, Member, Fort Wayne City Council;

Terrell M. Bond, Jr., M.D., Vice President/Chief Medical Officer, Fort Wayne Neighborhood Health Clinic;

James E. Cook, President, Northeast Indiana Region, Chase Bank;

Jennifer Callison, Vice President, Mike Thomas Associates/F.C. Tucker;

Meg Distler, Executive Director, St. Joseph Community Health Foundation;

Joseph Dorko, Chief Executive Officer, Lutheran Health Network;

Martin Fisher, Executive Director, Science Central;

Cathy Hawks, Music Director, The Chapel;

Julie Inskeep, Publisher, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette;

Timothy Pape, Member, Fort Wayne City Council; and

Wendy Robinson, Ed.D., Superintendent, Fort Wayne Community Schools.

Marshall White, Voices of Unity Youth Choir

Angela Hughes, Franklin Electric

Now, M. Barranda had a piece in the newspaper about the lack of age diversity in the task force. Point well made, seeing as though the majority of these people are well above his YLNI target group. One would hope that the Fort Wayne would love to embrace and groom some of these young professionals that they are hoping to retain in Fort Wayne. You'd think they would want to involve these people that seemingly want to be involved in the process, more than just at public meetings and on a voting website that is easily rigged. Often times, these highly involved people sit on many boards and are stretched very thin for time, juggling family, work, and extra curricular activities- with a younger person that is less likely.

Age diversity was distinctly put on the requirements for formation of this board. Which you can see here: The People

Also on the list of qualities for representation on the task force is "Downtown." Must be important if they listed it twice. Now, I do not know the addresses of all these people, but it does not seem as though downtown residents or even the DID are involved. Fort Wayne always seems to run into this problem, especially when concerning downtown. We talk downtown revitalization and redevelopment, but it is always the same people playing urbanists, we never go straight to the source for ideas. Downtown is constantly being told, "I know what is best for you", from outsiders. Does Glynn Hines get Sycamore Hill's housing association board to address the concerns of his constituents?

The last point is in conjunction with my next.

I knew this task force has a couple of non-residents of Fort Wayne. Until I read this mornings paper, I did not realize 5 out of 15 did not live in Fort Wayne. 1/3 of this task force for Legacy FORT WAYNE to decide how to utilize the FORT WAYNE Community Trust and the FORT WAYNE Light Lease money that we are receiving for the FORT WAYNE power grid are not from FORT WAYNE.

Much like the fact that we do not allow non-residents to run for Fort Wayne office to control how the city operates and our budget is spent, we should not allow non-residents to control how this time capsule is utilized. These people do not live in Fort Wayne for a reason, what ever that reason is, the fact remains - they do not want to live in Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne needs to realize that there has been a line drawn in the sand Fort Wayne and the rest of Allen County. Allen County does not want to be Fort Wayne, they don't want to be involved in Fort Wayne, and at times I it seems they don't like Fort Wayne. Take a look at New Haven's promotional video (PROMO). At the end it pretty much said, "Close to Fort Wayne, but you don't have to pay for it!"

I realize that they say these people have business inside of Fort Wayne, but by that logic we could go ask an executive of PNC to be on this task force as he/she has business in Fort Wayne as well.

Fort Wayne needs to get JG Wentworth on this, we've got a structured cash settlement. It's our money, and we (are getting) it now.


Anonymous said...

Another few thoughts:

1. No high school students;
2. No Hispanics (There are over 11,000 Hispanics in Fort Wayne);
3. No Asians (There are approximately 10,000 within Fort Wayne.);
4. David Cocoran who was added to the board lives in Hamilton, IN.

Anonymous said...

This is not the way to handle this. Are we saying business owners are more important than people who actually work AND live in Fort Wayne?