Lately many have been asking for opinions on what Fort Wayne should do with the $40 Million City Light trust fund that will become available in 2009. I don't think there's any doubt this money should be used for economic development. The city council and Mayor Richard have continuously told us that Harrison Square is a key piece to economic development despite there being ABSOLUTELY NO evidence to support these claims - just a gut feeling followed by handwaving arguments. Many on the council have stated time and again that this city needs to build jobs for the new economy, spur entrepreneurship and retain young workers.
Well, time to put your money where your mouth is - literally. What you will inherit in 2009 is $40 Million worth of venture capital; at least that's what this author thinks the money should be used for. And when I say venture capital I mean exactly that - not subsidies, tax abatements or other such nonsense. What this community needs is to unleash a creative spirit of innovation and let the brightest among us compete to create new businesses and jobs.
We need a successful venture capitalist firm to manage this money in a professional manner and consistent with the principles of economic development outlined by our city leaders. This is the type of privatization that can work. This is how we compete in the new economy by creating jobs and stemming the brain drain.
Do our city leaders have the will to team with entrepreneurs to create a new and vibrant Fort Wayne?
We shall see...