Friday, July 13, 2007

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Yesterday I was quite perturbed at the lack of action from the Henry campaign. Today, they put out a news release describing their plan for the City Light Fund money. This will likely be one of the major issues of this election cycle as voters want to know what the candidates plan to do with the $40 Million from the fund. Henry's idea is to let the people help decide how the money should be used - not a bad idea in this political environment:
The fund belongs to the people of Fort Wayne. When Mayor, I will ensure that every citizen has the chance be part of choosing what we do with it. Henry proposes a proactive, citizen-participation process including the following steps:

-Citywide brainstorming sessions throughout 2008 supported by broad outreach and guided by inclusive ground rules;

-Prioritization and determination of option costs and feasibility by City staff, professional experts as needed, and a steering group representative of the community;

-Release of interim results in 2009;

-Public input sessions to further refine direction in 2009; and

-Preparation and presentation of the administration's recommendations for action late in 2009.

The fact that Tom Henry plans to engage the citizenry in this process is a welcome sign for those of us that want local government to be accessible and transparent. Let's contrast Henry's position with that of Matt Kelty:
Republican mayoral nominee Matt Kelty said he would not try to find a place to spend the money. He said he would likely put most of the money into another trust as a way to reinvest for the city’s future.
This answer is completely unacceptable. Kelty needs to open up and tell the voters of this city under what conditions he would spend the money. And if he did choose to spend it then what would his plan be? Kelty is side-stepping an important issue and voters should not allow it. The City Light Fund contains a lot of money and it deserves to be more than an afterthought...

5 comments:

ROACH said...

Im annoyed by the local politicians willingness to spend every available penny of the citizens monies for everything their appointed, greedy, selfishly motivated focus groups deem it needs to spen on.
Think about it in terms of your own household- what happens when you spend every penny of any windfalls, or paycheck that comes along? You quiclky spend yourself broke.
Wouldnt a prudent common man reinvest the widfall, and spend the interest, unless a very good opportuinty came along?
I would suggest such as another GM type major investment in Jobs and the economy?
I would hate to see it squandered on soem boondoggle.
These local appointees, and committees are generaly made up of "Nigerian money swindlers"; and the taxpayer endes up paying for it endlessly.
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Kody Tinnel said...

I think Kelty's answer to the question was more than acceptable. Just because we have a certain amount of money doesn't mean we have to spend it. Aren't we all usually taught very early in our lives that we should save our money as much as possible? The American way has become to spend every cent we have then borrow so we can have more. That is completely unreasonable.

"A penny saved is a penny earned." -Benjamin Franklin

Jeff Pruitt said...

Kody,

You're missing my point. It is very likely that Kelty WILL spend the money so he needs to tell voters under what circumstances he would consider spending it.

Notice they have not come out and said "I will not spend that money no matter what"...

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Jeff:

Henry's plan is terrible.

We do NOT need a Government Steering Committee.

Spend the money on either the Firefighters Pension plan shortfall (244 million dollars) or on the CSO debacle on the horizon (250 million - 500 million dollars).

This should be simple for any taxpayer in Fort Wayne. We have two huge unfunded liabilities that we need to pay for. Lets pay for them...

I cannot believe he is saying he still needs to research issues like property taxes as well..

He is definately running a stealth campaign and I think he is going to get beat by 3%.

Mike Sylvester

Jeff Pruitt said...

Mike,

I don't think I'd strenuously object to either option you list. I have a different plan that I think would help the city create high paying jobs, stem the brain drain and likely reduce property taxes by spurring new industry within the city...