Zach Bonahoom announced Tuesday he will be seeking the Republican nomination in the 2011 Primary for the Fort Wayne City Clerk’s seat.
First, the video:
The statement from his announcement:
Thank you. I want to thank my grandfather for his introduction and I want to thank all of you for coming today.
Over the last few months I have studied the political climate in the country and in the city of Fort Wayne. During this time I sought the opinions of many former officials, current elected officials and personal mentors. After hearing these opinions and gathering evidence I have concluded that in the city of Fort Wayne there is one elected office in particular that is due for a drastic change. After much deliberation, today, I am pleased to announce my candidacy for the office of City Clerk.
The last Republican City Clerk in Fort Wayne held office forty years ago, since then, the office has been held by Democrats. THAT last Republican city clerk, who was elected in 1967, was Fuad Bonahoom, my great uncle. At the end of her term, Democrat Sandy Kennedy will have been city clerk for 28 years. During that 28 years tremendous changes have taken place in technology, government, and society in general.
While other city governments, such as Muncie, Evansville and Huntington, along with their Clerks have stayed current with the times, Fort Wayne’s Clerks office has seemingly made little effort to adapt. Ms. Kennedy has a long and justified career serving the City of Fort Wayne, and we should be grateful for such a loyal official. However, times and technology have changed and Ms. Kennedys once efficient Clerks office has ignored or simply not taken advantage of these new technologies.
Upon studying Clerks’ offices around the state and around the country it is apparent that a stronger internet presence is necessary in Fort Wayne. A functional digital platform for the Clerks office can increase efficiency, save taxpayer dollars and in many cases save them an unwanted trip downtown. Some of these additions to the Clerks website would include, live streaming council meetings, adequate and easily accessible public information and documents, easily searchable minutes, A frequently asked questions section AND other online services already offered in cities and towns throughout the state. John McGauley, the Allen County Recorder has done a fantastic job providing similar services on the Recorders website.
These things are standard in cities of all sizes across the country.
After reviewing the City budget, I am confident that measures such as these can save the taxpayers thousands of dollars every year. This past October, a council member proposed a substantial cut to Ms Kennedys budget. Ms. Kennedy justified the funds saying that the Clerks office receives over 40 walk-ins and over 100 phone calls each day.
The best part of a strong and effective internet presence is that it will decrease the number of walk-ins and phone calls, allowing employees in the Clerk’s office more time to focus on other important tasks. Under my administration the Clerks office would be available in person, on the phone and online in a user friendly format. This amounts to convenience for all residents regardless of age, social class or individual circumstance. Utilizing technology in government not only saves taxpayer dollars, but is absolutley necessary in todays world.
My first goal will be to usher the city clerks office properly, efficiently, and most of all frugally into the 21st century.
As a small business owner for 9 years, I have developed the knowledge necessary to determine and implement the changes needed to bring the City Clerks office to a modern efficiency level.
It is also important that the City Clerk, as liaison between the government and the people, is effective in communicating with the citizenry. My experience working and living with people from over 50 different cultures and religions, gives me an advantage in this respect.
I believe it is time to elect a new City Clerk to better serve the people of Fort Wayne. Anyone who knows me, knows that when I decide to do something, I focus on the task at hand and I give it my all. I promise you I will bring that attitude and that enthusiasm to my campaign for City Clerk and to the clerks office if I am elected. I hope that you will help me bring good change to Fort Wayne, by electing me City Clerk this coming year.
The press release:
Zach Bonahoom launches campaign
(December 14, 2010) – Zach Bonahoom, a local entrepreneur announced his candidacy as a Republican for City Clerk today, Tuesday December 14, 2010. The announcement was made at 12:00 PM at the Allen County Republican Headquarters (125 W Main St.).
“Times and technology have changed and Ms. Kennedys once efficient Clerks office has failed to keep pace.” Mr. Bonahoom explained during his announcement. “Having been raised with technology, I am the perfect candidate for this office…I can make sure we don’t spend five figures on a twitter account again.”
Democrats have held the office of City Clerk for 40 years. The last Republican Clerk was Zach’s great uncle Fuad Bonahoom in 1967.
Mr. Bonahoom is a small business owner in Fort Wayne and licensed Indiana Realtor. Zach is the son of local attorney Joseph G. Bonahoom and grandson of Otto M. Bonahoom of Bonahoom and Bonahoom LLP. Zach Bonahoom has owned and operated Bonahoom Music DJ Service since 2002. He is also the proprietor of a property management business and a website salesman for locally owned Specialized Printed Products. Zach has also worked for Senator Richard Lugar locally. Finally, Zach has extensive experience working with people, spending nearly a year working and traveling aboard a cruise ship where over 50 different cultures and religions were present amongst his co-workers.
“As a small business owner…I have the knowledge necessary to determine and implement the changes needed to bring the City Clerks office to a modern efficiency level. My first goal will be to usher the city clerks office properly, efficiently, and most of all frugally into the 21st century.” Zach encourages supporters to visit his website for more information on his platform and campaign at www.ZachforClerk.com.
Among those in attendance at the announcement included: Joe Bonahoom, who is Zach’s father and the Fort Wayne City Council Attorney; Otto Bonahoom, local attorney and grandfather of the candidate; Fort Wayne City Councilwoman Liz Brown; Jerome Gaines, Republican candidate for the Fort Wayne City Council 2nd District seat; and former City Councilman Don Schmidt.