A little late…
Allen County Republican Chairman Steve Shine’s response to Mayor Tom Henry’s State of the City address last week:
Republicans say City is ready for a change
Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry delivered his fourth State of the City Address today at the downtown Allen County Public Library.
Echoing the sentiments being raised across the nation, local Republicans are expressing concerns about how City projects are being funded. “The electorate showed in 2010 that it wants a fiscally conservative approach to governance, and that is exactly what our Republican candidates for Mayor and City Council have to offer Fort Wayne,” says Allen County GOP Chairman Steve Shine.
Shine is optimistic about Fort Wayne’s future. “This year, the citizens of Fort Wayne will have an opportunity to elect a new mayor who will serve as a conservative guardian of the taxpayers’ money and help bring jobs to our area,” said Shine. Recent labor statistics, however, demonstrate the City’s lack of creativity in addressing employment problems. Experts in the area said that the labor force in the Fort Wayne area fell between November and December 2010 by 1,412 jobs, a fact that suggests local residents have become frustrated by fewer employment opportunities in the area. Any reduction in unemployment over that period of time, therefore, is due to fewer laborers overall and not to any increase in employment in Fort Wayne.
In advocating conservative governance, Shine noted, as an example, the innovative fundraising measures used by Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries to fund his Department’s training center on Adams Center Road. “Fort Wayne needs new leadership in the Mayor’s Office to improve the area’s economic climate, and to resolve lingering local concerns like Harrison Square, the housing of City and County offices, and the always-present possibility of casino gambling, that are weighing heavily on voters’ minds this election season.”
Henry’s administration has been plagued by numerous allegations that the Mayor’s Office has skirted the City Council by awarding contracts to consultants for amounts below $100,000; contracts below $100,000 do not require City Council review and approval. “More transparency is needed in government,” said Shine. “We can do better.” Another increasing concern is the threat of resurgence in violent crime in Fort Wayne during the last year. In 2010, Fort Wayne suffered 30 homicides, an increase from the previous year’s 21.
“It is said that the night is always darkest before the dawn. I see a new political sun rising in Fort Wayne this November,” said Shine.
A forum featuring the Republican candidates for Mayor will be held on April 20, 2011, at Andorfer Commons on the campus of Indiana Institute of Technology, 1600 East Washington Blvd., Fort Wayne. The event is open to the public.
Republicans who have expressed their intention to seek their party’s nomination for Fort Wayne Mayor include Elizabeth Brown, Eric Doden, and Paula Hughes.
The 2011 Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, May 3, 2011, and the General Election on Tuesday, November 8, 2011.