Hines Says No to Affirmative Re-Appointment

Glynn Hines, 6th District City Councilman.  Photo from the City's website.

Today, I received a copy of the City Council’s Appointments to make for 2009 to various City boards and committees.  The most notable surprise here concern’s the Mayor’s Affirmative Action Advisory Council.

City Councilman Glynn Hines (6th-D) is currently serving a term on this Council, which expires tomorrow.  Councilman Hines has indicated that he does not wish to be re-appointed to this particular Advisory Council.  The City’s website states this about this Council:

The Mayor appoints all fifteen members of this Council; terms are three years. The Council provides guidance and recommendations to the Mayor on the development of personnel and employment policy and programs.

Hines has, however, indicated he would like to be re-appointed to the Fort Wayne Commission on African American Males.  A search of the City’s website returns 3 results, of which none give any idea of what this Commission does.  

If you will remember, when the City Council voted to override Mayor Tom Henry’s veto of their Fire Merit System legislation, Councilman Hines directed his ire at the Mayor and his record of not incorporating minorities into his administration, and in fact dropping the few minorities that were in supervisory positions.  You can find the video of the Councilman’s comments here.  I have emailed Councilman Hines concerning his choice.


Other Council Appointments

Animal Control – Council will consider the appointment of Donald Ross to the Animal Control Board.  This appointment would fill the unexpired term of Jay Powell, who resigned earlier this year.

Cable Fund Access Board – City Councilwoman Karen Goldner and Jeff Pruitt, Fort Wayne Politics Blogmaster, have expressed their desire to remain on this board.

Citizen’s Appeal Board – Carolyn Devoe has asked to be re-appointed.

Downtown Improvement District Board – Karen Goldner has asked to be re-appointed.

Fort Wayne Commission on African American Males – As indicated above, Councilman Hines has expressed his desire to be re-appointed and will be joined by Thomas Nolan who also wishes for re-appointment.

Metro Human Relations – Samuel Bolinger and James Ridley have both expressed their desire to be re-appointed.

Public Transportation Corporation/Citilink – Fred Lanahan has asked to be re-appointed.  I would not be surprised if there were at least two Council members opposed to this re-appointment.  If you remember, Councilman Mitch Harper and Councilwoman Liz Brown voted against approval of the 2009 Citilink Budget.  Both expressed concerns, as Councilman Harper has before, over accessibility and coverage for citizens.  There was also a sense of discontent with the direction of the Citilink the two times they have been before the Council this year.

Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission – Thom Obergfell and Casey Cox have both asked to be re-appointed.  After Harrison Square sailed through every needed approval from the Redevelopment Commission, most times with little or no discussion or probing questions, the entire Redevelopment Commission, save two – Christopher Guerin and Steve McElhoe, turned over.  The new members quickly established themselves as competent additions to the Commission.  

Thom Obergfell, an executive with Tower Bank, brings his financial background to the table when looking at such things as financial figures and property acquisitions.  Obergfell became known for asking questions to clarify the “Claims” that the Commission members were asked to approve at the beginning of every session.  I have never looked at the claims, but my understanding is they involve payments for various items due for payment by the RC.  The questions were often about vague identifiers or missing information, but other times part of the learning curve.  In fact, one Redevelopment staff member became a little “miffed” at the questions and retorted to one question that they had always done it this way and it had always worked.  Needless to say, descriptions began to be used that provided more information or little doubt as to the clarity of their purpose.  For the record, it did take until the September meeting for Thom not to have any “claims” questions.

Casey Cox, an attorney with a local firm, brings his law background to the table.  In fact, in a recent meeting, he pointed out that a change order for a Harrison Square project component exceeded the legal limit allowed on public works projects by .6 of a percent.  Normally, exceeding this limit would result in the project having to be re-bid.  However, the answer this time was that Redevelopment would receive a letter of inquiry from the State Board of Accounts.  The RC would then respond with the details of which it would be pointed out that a delay to rebid this particular project for a .6 percent increase would have ended up being more costly, and just flat out impractical.  Casey can always be counted on for sharp perspective on any given project as well as the legal ramifications of such moves.

Both men are necessary and welcomed continuations to the Commission.

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