Former City Councilman Tom Smith (R-1st) is contemplating a run for his former seat at the City Council table.
According to an article in yesterday’s News-Sentinel, Smith will be forming an exploratory committee.
He was defeated in the 2015 Republican Primary by newcomer Paul Ensley, also a Republican. Ensley bested Smith by 554 votes in that primary.
Smith held the 1st District seat for four consecutive terms from 1999 to 2015. He voted against the Harrison Square project in 2008 but has since become an ardent supporter of the project as well as the other downtown revitalization efforts. He was also responsible in part for today’s riverfront development efforts. He had proposed the idea of building shops and residential units on the Old Fort grounds which would have meant a move for the facility, however, concerns about flooding and moving the old fort derailed the idea.
In one council meeting, he mentioned that when the Clinton Street bridge over the St Marys River was rebuilt, he hoped it would be done so in a manner that would complement gateway into the downtown area. He described the current bridge as, “the deck of an aircraft carrier.” Federal, state, and local funding came together to make the now landmark Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge a reality.
Smith was also an early advocate for the redevelopment of the General Electric Broadway campus now known as the Electric Works. He served as co-chairman with Democrat Geoff Paddock (5th District) on a citizen committee which explored potential reuses for the building. The committee’s diligence, as well as efforts by Greater Fort Wayne, Inc., captured the attention of General Electric who then sold the property to RTM Ventures Inc.
You can read Leininger’s article here.