GINA IS SUCH A FOUNTAIN OF INFORMATION AND SOURCES ABOUT WHOS WHO AND WHATS WHAT IN FORT WAYNE DOWNTOWN - HAVING WORKED THERE FOR AS LONG AS SHE HAS..
ME? LIKE HENRY FORD- i DONT HAVE TO KNOW EVERYTHING- I NEED TO KNOW THE PEOPLE WHO DO ;A ND BE ABLE TO DISCERN WHOS TELLING ME BULLSHIOT; AND WHOS TALKING STRAIGHT..
Mike Conley and Joseph Townsend -- I was tagged in an economic development thread on Mike's page hailing the riverfront development and an impromptued referendum on the current state of the City ensued. This thread was deleted before I could respond. So my apologies to you both for coming to that conversation late.
Downtown development has helped downtown businesses and ONLY downtown businesses. Parkview Field is not self-sustaining. It is taxpayer supported. Memorial Stadium was too, just not to the extent that Parkview Field is. As far as it being this "great accomplishment" that some are trying to make it out to be---uhm, a great accomplishment would be if the ball diamond was self-sustaining. That is an accomplishment. The only businesses that benefit from Parkview Field are dining and drinking establishments open after the ballgame is over, especially when the TinCaps win and people are in the mood to celebrate. But when assessing blame here, lets remember that Mayor Henry and all current members of City Council (Dems and GOP) were for this.
Regarding public safety--the past four years have been collectively the worst four years in the recorded history of Fort Wayne. Review all stats -- Homicides, robberies, burglaries, larcenies, rapes, etc. The less resources people have access to, the more likely they are to fight, pillage and plunder. Its human nature. The fix -- more jobs and less taxes -- so that people actually have more money to spend to survive and thrive.
That's one of the problems with all this supposed local "economic development" -- few if any jobs get created and when they do, they tend to be minimum wage jobs; tax abatements/tax phase-ins are handed out like Halloween candy, which shifts the tax burden to those who are not getting the tax abatements/tax phase-ins; and our local economy is a consumer economy--meaning its driven by purchasing power. If you suffer your people to an inadequate number of jobs and to too many low-paying jobs, tax their income, increase their utility fees, shift the tax burden onto them, then they have little to no discretionary income to spend. No discretionary income means no purchasing power means no self-sustaining "economic development."
We can go on and pretend that the Emporer is wearing clothes, but folks...that is all we are doing -- pretending. All one needs to do is look to Coliseum Blvd, South Anthony Blvd, nearly anywhere in the 6th District, Waynedale, etc to see abandoned residential housing, vacated storefronts, and remnants of thriving businesses via silhouettes of empty commercial buildings. If that wasn't enough to draw attention to the true state of local economic development, then there's neglected infrastructure throughout the whole city. In some cases, we have streets with potholes so huge you could plant a garden in 'em big enough to feed the local homeless population. It used to be that you could get potholes fixed in about 4 hours (Graham Richard administration--a Democratic Mayor) and now, you are lucky to get a pothole properly filled in 4 days and sometimes its longer than 4 weeks. (Tom Henry administration--also a Democratic Mayor) I could really go on and on here, but I'm not running for Mayor--so I'll let Rick Stevenson and Mitch Harper make the case against Henry.