Eric Doden unveils plans for effective use of city light-lease funds

Eric Doden campaign sign.

News release from the Eric Doden campaign:

Eric Doden unveils plans for effective use of city light-lease funds
Fiscally responsible approach would minimize city spending, facilitate private investment

(February 16, 2011) – Further establishing his position as the only candidate in the Republican mayoral primary with specific plans for creating jobs and modernizing Fort Wayne’s economy, Eric Doden today unveiled his plans for the use of a portion of the city’s light-lease funds.

Doden’s fiscally responsible and innovative approach would invest city light-lease funds by lending a portion of the fund to attract $85 million in private funds and complete $100 million worth of new residential and commercial projects throughout the city. These projects would be vital in making Fort Wayne a more prominent and attractive location for entrepreneurs, businesses and employees.

“To date, the proposals of how best to use the light-lease funds can be described simply as ‘spend it’ or ‘don’t spend it.’ Today, I’m proposing a creative third way that maximizes the use of these dollars while protecting taxpayers,” Doden said. “Making an investment by lending these funds—instead of spending them—to attract private capital, we give private investors the confidence to believe in these projects and our city’s future.”

“I don’t believe the City should be an equity investor itself,” he continued. “If the private market does not invest or believe in a project, then it shouldn’t be done. But I do believe that leveraging these crucial funds shows private investors we are serious about transforming our economy and creating a world-class, 21st-century city. With my background in business and private equity, I understand how to get deals like this done.”

Under Doden’s plan, the city could leverage the light-lease fund to attract $85 million in outside private capital with a $15 million investment, resulting in $100 million in new projects in Fort Wayne that are driven by market competition, not government mandates, while creating good-paying, high-quality jobs.

Doden’s plan provides substantial benefits to Fort Wayne:

1) Increases the tax base through increase in private investment as opposed to increased public spending
2) Employs people in a down economy
3) Improves the quality of life in, and attracts more business to, Fort Wayne
4) Provides good projects for local banks to support and lend to
5) Helps retain our talented workforce and attract new talent into the area

This plan for the city light-lease fund would also have another secondary impact as well: Promoting Fort Wayne as a prime opportunity for additional sources of private equity and investment as these projects take hold.


About Eric Doden
For the past two-plus years, Doden has served as the director of investments at Ambassador Enterprises, a Fort Wayne-based consulting, investment and private equity firm. Prior to joining Ambassador Enterprises, he led the distribution and fabrication arms of Ambassador Steel Corporation.

Doden graduated from Valparaiso University School of Law and from Hillsdale College with majors in business finance and Christian Studies. He is a member of the Fort Wayne Chapter of Executive Forums, a current board member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and a former board member of his local church. He and his wife, Maci, a Fort Wayne attorney, have been married for 12 years and have 4 children. Learn more at


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