News release from the Paula Hughes campaign:
Hughes To Cut City Debt by 24%
Announces Cut to Match Efforts of Average Fort Wayne Citizens
Former Allen County Council President and leading Republican Fort Wayne mayoral candidate Paula Hughes, announced that she is setting the goal of a 24% cut of existing city long-term debt by the end of her first term as Mayor.
Paula Hughes has been discussing the City of Fort Wayne’s growing debt load for weeks and has proposed new ways to conduct city budgeting, creative ways to get city bills in line with other communities, and proposed a department-by-department audit to determine what programs need to be eliminated, cut or reformed.
Just this week, the credit reporting agency Experian announced levels of credit card debt by city. Experian said Fort Wayne residents led the country in consumer debt reduction at a rate of 24%.
“It seems that the residents of Fort Wayne and I have the same goals when it comes to reducing debt,” Paula Hughes said at her press conference today. “It’s too bad that Mayor Henry and the city council haven’t gotten the memo.”
While Fort Wayne residents and county government, led by Paula Hughes, were turning their financial situation around, the City of Fort Wayne grew its long-term debt to $405 million with $78.4 million of those debts being accumulated in 2009 alone.
“Fort Wayne residents are making cuts in their personal lives but the government is still living high on the hog,” Hughes stated. “If the citizens of Fort Wayne can reduce their debt by 24%, city government can too.”
Paula Hughes concluded by saying, “we need a proven conservative leader to take bold initiatives and make them reality.”
This debt reduction goal is part of her overall budgeting plan, “Making YOUR Money Count; Cash-based Budgeting.” The plan is a stark contrast to the current administration where the mayor proposes a budget based on the previous year’s spending and the city council complicitly approves most of the mayor’s proposals.
Paula Hughes is the only candidate of either political party that has discussed the need to pay down debt and has laid out a goal and plan to make it happen.