News release from the Hughes for Mayor campaign:
Public Safety Academy a drain on taxpayers
Hughes Calls for More Private Sector Solutions to Fort Wayne Problems
Former Allen County Council President and Republican nominee for Mayor of Fort Wayne Paula Hughes continued to stand on the side of the taxpayer by highlighting the ways to get the private sector reengaged in private-public partnerships.
Hughes made her announcement joined by area businessman Pete Eshelman and Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries in front of the Public Safety Academy. Both Eshelman and Fries have tried to work with the City of Fort Wayne to make the Public Safety Academy a success.
Mr. Eshelman sat on the private board of the Public Safety Academy. The board was dismissed when the City of Fort Wayne chose to take complete control of the academy and it’s operations.
“The Public Safety Academy is costing Fort Wayne taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year because Tom Henry failed to allow the private-public partnership to work,” Eshelman said. “This administration wanted complete control of the facility and it’s been a failure and taxpayer albatross ever since. The only chance for taking this facility from third class to world class is new city leadership.”
Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries pointed to the lack of focus and knowledge of the public safety area as additional reasons for the academy’s failure.
“The Public Safety Academy is not meeting the needs of area public safety or the industries that initially showed interest in the academy’s services,” Sheriff Fries said. “We need new city leadership to reprioritize the academy and get it off of the taxpayers’ shoulders.”
Hughes used the opportunity to point out her commitment to getting government out of the way and giving the private sector the opportunity to succeed on their own.
“I look at the opportunity with the Public Safety Academy as I do with riverfront development downtown,” Hughes said. “The public sector should set the table and get out of the way. It’s clear that the Henry administration doesn’t understand that its government’s role to create opportunities for the private sector to succeed not to try and succeed for them.”