Henry for Mayor campaign releases new ad: “Falling”

Tom Henry for Mayor campaign logo.

News release from the Henry for Mayor campaign:

Henry for Mayor campaign releases new ad: “Falling”
Spot highlights Hughes’s record of raising taxes while cutting vital services

Today the Tom Henry for Mayor campaign released a new TV ad, “Falling.” The spot highlights Paula Hughes’s record of raising taxes on residents while cutting vital services like bridge maintenance and snow removal — as well as her recent statement calling leaf pickup a “luxury” she would consider eliminating.

“While Hughes was raising taxes she was also cutting vital services,” said Henry for Mayor campaign manager Justin Schall. “Hughes cut bridge maintenance, snow removal, and now she says picking up leaves is a ‘luxury’ that she might eliminate, forcing residents to pay for it on their own. These basic services keep our roads safe and prevent our homes, streets and businesses from flooding. If Paula Hughes thinks city services are a luxury, we can’t trust her with Fort Wayne’s future.”

The ad will begin airing on all major Fort Wayne stations starting today.




On county council, Paula Hughes voted to raise taxes year after year… Hughes supported or voted for tax increases every year for ten years.  For a full list of tax increases go to https://therealpaula.com/images/8-25-11_Hughes_Ten_Years_of_Taxes_1_.pdf
but cut vital services like bridge maintenance In 2003 Hughes voted for a budget that raised taxes by more than $5 million.[1]  In addition the budget completely removed the $728k a year bridge repair fund. As the News-Sentinel reported at the time:

“Years of deferred maintenance and budgetary sleight of hand caught up with Allen County officials today…Eliminating the cumulative bridge fund provided $728,000 for the county’s general fund, but left little to maintain the county’s 337 bridges….About 70 of the county’s bridges, or 21 percent of the total, are considered deficient. The state has recommended counties repair or replace about 2 percent of their bridges annually – meaning about six in Allen County – but little has been done because of budget woes the last several years, Fitch said.”

“Commissioners give first OK to plan to fix bridges by raising property tax,” Leininger, The News-Sentinel, 4/21/2004

and snow removal. In 2007 the County Highway Department cut 19 employees because of shrinking budgets.

“The department had 111 total positions before five were vacated through retirements, transfers or resignations. That leaves 19 to be eliminated in the department, Hitchens said.”

“Southwest annexation leads to elimination of 19 Highway Department jobs,” Lengerich, News-Sentinel, 7/18/2007

Later that year Hughes approved the 2008 budget which codified those cuts.[2]  The 2008 highway budget shows the nearly $1 million cut in maintenance workers (page 169) and the total highway department cut of about $2.5 million (page 172).[3]

The Journal Gazette describe Paula record on the issue:

“Allen County cut its highway department by 20 percent in 2008, including laying off 19 employees, because of reduced revenues caused by the city’s annexation of much of Aboite Township. Hughes served on the county council that approved this budget.

Highway officials said at the time they would send 10 to 12 fewer trucks out to plow snow along county roads because of the cuts. This would cause the department to need another hour to 90 minutes to clear main roads, a spokeswoman said at the time.”

“Luxury vs. priority,” Lanka, Journal Gazette, 10/19/2011

Or as a county snow plower Rick Kaylor put it to the Journal Gazette earlier this year,

“Four or five years ago, they laid off a whole lot of people when the city annexed Aboite,” Kaylor said. “So we got a whole lot less people and the same amount of road.”

“Hours pile up for tired crews,” Gray, Journal Gazette, 2/3/2011

As the Journal Gazette went on to note, “The state highway department has two shifts of drivers. The city has two or three shifts. The county has one shift…”

Now that she’s running for mayor, she’s at it again.  
She calls leaf pick up a luxury that could be eliminated. Hughes recently told the Journal Gazette that;

The Republican candidate hinted she would be willing to examine whether some city services should even continue in an effort to focus more on her top priorities: infrastructure and public safety.

“My perspective on the leaf pickup is it is a luxury as a citizen,” she said. “Do I enjoy it? Yes. Do I think we need to evaluate whether that is a priority? … I think it is up for discussion.”

“City services a pivotal task for mayors,” Lanka, Journal Gazette, 10/9/2011

A luxury?
That could cause sewers and homes to flood.  
And force homeowners to pay for leaf removal on their own. State law (IC 13-20-9-2) states that “Deposit of vegetative matter in solid waste landfill prohibited.”

In addition, Fort Wayne Municipal Code 50.11 states that:

“(A) Leaves are prohibited from the landfill.  In the fall, leaves cannot be placed out with the garbage for collection, loose or in biodegradable lawn bags.  Leaves will be collected by the city Street Department loose or in biodegradable paper lawn bags during the fall collection season.”

Code section 94.71 also says that leaves cannot be burned.  This means if Hughes were to cut coverage then homeowners would have to pay for their own leaf collection.

Cutting services but making us pay more, again?

No thanks, Paula.


Henry for Mayor campaign website


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