Monday, December 31, 2007

2008 Agenda

So I took all of 5 minutes to brainstorm the local stories and politics that are of utmost interest to me and here are a few items where I'll be focusing my energy. Feel free to join the cause on any of these issues. As usual we'll likely be opponents on some issues but that shouldn't preclude us from working together on like minded ones. Also, feel free to comment and let us know what issues will be important to you:

  1. Oust Carol Coen and Steve Carona from the Fort Wayne Community School Board while re-electing Jon Olinger

  2. I was a Blue petition supporter and I firmly believe that Coen and Carona no longer represent the voters of the district. I hope to see the defeat of these two start a domino process that will lead to a complete overhaul of the board. Meanwhile, Olinger was the sole vote against the facilities project and he deserves the support of all voters who want to further the district's educational goals while maintaining fiscal responsibility.

  3. Uphold the Smoking Ban

  4. I was a vocal supporter of the comprehensive ban and I don't want to see it rolled back by the new council. I also think supporters of the ban should lobby the county commissioners into making the ban county-wide.

  5. North River Development

  6. Citizens should demand that ZERO tax dollars be used to clean up a polluted site owned by the richest family in the county. We also need to make sure that we get all the relevant data related to the problems before any plans to purchase the land are publicly discussed.

  7. Tax and Capital Projects Review Board

  8. This one has gone under the radar but starting in 2009 the all-appointed County Tax Adjustment Board will be replaced by a new body that will have 2 elected members. It is crucial that we elect members to this board that will protect our tax dollars and who are not tainted by the group-think policy of Allen County politics - the Good ol' Boy network if you will.

  9. Harrison Square Accountability

  10. City taxpayers need to keep a keen eye on the development of Harrison Square and make sure we're getting what we were promised. We also need to monitor the cost and schedule of the project and insure the citizenry has all the available information.

25 comments:

LP Mike Sylvester said...

As usual your choices are very interesting.

As far as #1 goes I do not have a "dog in that fight" since I live in NACS.

#2 we are certainly on opposite sides of. The smoking ban is wrong and needlessly infringes on the proeprty rights of business owners. The smoking ban should be rescinded.

#3 we certainly agree on this one. This will be a test for Henry and the new City Council. It is absurd to think the taxpayers should pick up the tab and the secrecy behind the environmental surveys is typical of the Richards Administration and I hope the Henry Administration has more respect for "open government."

#4 We certainly agree on this one. We need some independent minded folks to run for this that are not part of the "good ole boy netowrk" in Fort Wayne.

#5. We also agree on this one...

Mike Sylvester

Phil Marx said...

#1) I believe that most people who do not have children of school age usually pay little attention to this position, thinking that it doesn't affect them. The remonstrance process earlier this year did more to educate people in this area than any single candidate could have hoped to achieve. The best thing we could hope for here is that FWCS makes a similar request as soon as their one year waiting period expires. The public rejection of this would almost certainly spill over into the elections.

#3) If the city does pay for any clean-up, this should be reflected in the purchase price of the property. And absolutely, the citizens of Fort Wayne should be fully informed of all the details (and have a chance to offer their opinions) before the City does purchase.

Even people who were strongly in favor of H.S. are questioning the lack of transparency here. If Henry allows this to go through without full disclosure and open discussion, I think it will permanently mark his administration in a bad way.

#4) I could easily vote for John Kalb, Evert Mol, or Mike Sylvester here. All three have publicly demonstrated their willingness to inform and try to protect the taxpayers of this area.

#5) I think the rallying cry for this one should be simply "No taxation without representation!"

I have copied the following information from the Code Blue site:

THE INDIANA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WILL CONDUCT HEARINGS
IN FORT WAYNE ON THE PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX REVISIONS ON JANUARY 9.
THE HEARINGS ARE CURRENTLY SCHEDULED FOR 10 AM
AT SOUTH SIDE HIGH SCHOOL

COME AND LET YOUR LEGISLATORS KNOW WE NEED BALLOT
REFERENDUMS ON BOND ISSUES

http://www.codeblueschools.org

John Good said...

1. I also have no horse in this race, but Olinger's an asshole who thinks Bush is our saviour.

2. There was nothing wrong with the status quo prior to the ban. Business owners bellied up and created seperate smoking areas at their own expense. In a rare agreement with Sylvester, I say back off on government intervention.

3. Let's hear the results before we make knee-jerk pronouncements.

4. I.E. Sylvester - I'll need to investigate this further.

5. Nothing wrong with accountability, but let's move Fort Wayne forward, rather than burying our collective heads in the sand.

Charlotte A. Weybright said...

#1 - I also have no children at home anymore - and when they were school age, they went to Whitko. I supported the yellow position. I think our city schools need repairs and need upgrading. If you go to the Indiana Access website that gives data on schools, you can see how far ahead in graduation stats the suburban areas are. Some of that may be due to access to the newest and best technology, among other improvements.

#2 - If the ban is to stay in place, then the county needs to get on board and make it countywide. Escape venues only a mile or two out of the City's limits is ridiculous and does the City and its business owners no favors. If the county doesn't have the guts to make the ban countywide, then Fort Wayne council members need to revisit the issue. I have never been a smoker, but it truly seems unfair to impose a ban in one city and not equalize that treatment in the rest of the county.

#3 - I have been voicing my concern about the clauses that require confidentiality of the environmental study results. The study should be released in sufficient time for the public to get a sense of the true nature of the property and what can be done with it. Rather than killing the project, I believe releasing the study will bolster public confidence in the administration and perhaps create a more "project" friendly environment (yeh, I know, my Pollyanna position).

#4 - Yes, this one was not on my radar to any great extent. Whether elected or appointed, it will still be a "good ole boy" network. Simply having elected members won't change the dynamics of political realities.

#5 - Monitoring the project is necessary, but didn't we just get a report that said the concrete bid was actually under cost? If we are going to monitor and criticize overages, then we should also be willing to give kudos to project savings.

Just a comment on the notice of the property tax meeting. January 9th is a Wednesday, and, I don't know about you, but I have to work for a living. I really get tired of many of these meetings being scheduled for times when most working people can't just pick up and take off work.

Of course scheduling meetings during the work day is definitely a way to cut down on input.

Jeff Pruitt said...

John,

It's interesting you want to "move Fort Wayne forward" yet you want to roll back the smoking ban...

Charlotte,
Good point on the good/bad news for HS. I guess I was working from the assumption that the city will do everything it can to make sure we all hear the good news. Somebody needs to be watching to keep them honest...

John Good said...

Jeff - I don't want to "roll back" the smoking ban. I want the market-driven one we had in place prior to this one reinstated, with the "loopholes" fixed. Regulation, not eradication.

Kody Tinnel said...

Interesting list.

I basically agree with you on all of them except the smoking ban.

Andrew Kaduk said...

O-h M-y G-o-d.

John Good is calling for market driven solutions to problems?

I'm going to get my eyes checked in the morning.

I'm not really as shocked as I'm portraying here, John. What surprises me is that Jeff Pruitt, a populist, doesn't also call for more market-driven solutions...especially considering the fact that an open marketplace is the finest form of Democracy. The will of the people is imposed almost instantly! UNinvolving the government from such matters truly puts the power back in the hands of the people....which is EXACTLY where it belongs.

Robert Enders said...

"It's interesting you want to "move Fort Wayne forward" yet you want to roll back the smoking ban..."

Jeff, clearly you and John have different ideas on which way "forward" is.

I maintain that Fort Wayne is not a mode of transportation but a geographic location. The only way it can move forward or backward is by way of continental drift.

Jon Olinger said...

John,

"I also have no horse in this race, but Olinger's an asshole who thinks Bush is our saviour."

I take issue with the accuracy of your statement. I do not think Bush is our saviour.

John Good said...

Andy - I think there's room for a mix of the two. I also think the new ban crossed that line.

Robert - Okay, I'd like to see Fort Wayne progress. Better?

Jon - You also do not think that Bush is responsible for any loss of life in Iraq. Welcome to the new minority view.

Jon Olinger said...

I also agree that the smoking ban has crossed the line. If they can regulate smoking on private property can they regulate caloric intake, use of saturated fat...ECT... I don't want to live in a nanny state governed by those who "know" what is best for me.

John,
Bush responsible for loss of life in Iraq? Was Roosevelt responsible for loss of life in Germany and Japan? Any President who orders troop into combat bears the responsibility of loss of life. That's kinda what war is. If you want to argue if this is a just war, we will likely have to agree to disagree, but as for Bush being responsible for deaths in Iraq it is somewhat of a ridiculous point.

John Good said...

Not nearly as ridiculous as comparing a world war to an invasion/occupation of a sovereign nation who had taken no action against us.

FDR had no recourse but to involve us in that particular conflict. GWB entered a "war" of his own choice, and misled his citizenry to do it. Apparently you are still a part of that small populace which still believes the lies.

So, yes, we must agree to disagree. I would suggest that I sleep better at night, but your denial probably affords you sweet dreams as well.

Jon Olinger said...

Oh yes John I sleep very well indeed.

There is no point arguing with you. You have developed your own little world where GWB is Satan and you have some sick moral high ground.

Evidently Rape rooms and Genocide was not reason enough to remove the prior Iraqi Regime because Sadam Hussein was the legal “sovereign" of a "sovereign nation" and “hey we should not invade and occupy a peaceful nation right?”

The last time those as far left as you thought they had the moral high ground was Vietnam. Their moral high ground have us Pol Pot and 1.7 million dead Cambodians... but that isn't our problem is it because Pol Pot was a sovereign leader of a sovereign nation.

As for your "new majority" it's the same old cry babies and whiners as the old "majority" that lost to GWB in the first place. And if the left makes Iraq the issue again... They will loose ... again.

Robert Rouse said...

Jon, I don't think anyone believes GWB is Satan. Satan would be a little more subtle in his deeds. And since when is it sick to take the high moral road? That statement is - much like Rush Limbaugh - an oxymoron.

Had Bush said that Rape Rooms and Genocide was the reasons we were going into Iraq, I would have respected his decision a little more - I would have disagreed with the move, but I would have respected it. Unless you guys want to rewrite history, I recall the reason Bush first used for going into Iraq was because of all the WMDs Saddam Hussein. Of course, when that was proven false, we were told that all along we had gone into Iraq because Hussein was in cahoots with al Qaeda. By now, anyone who has paid attention to the game realizes that al Qaeda was verboten under the Hussein regime and didn't actually show up in Iraq until our invasion and occupation created a vacuum that allowed them in. The second reason discredited, Bush pulled a Maxwell Smart and basically said, "would you believe we went into Iraq to create a democracy". But he "missed it by this much". Turns out that in 2000, Bush told everyone he was totally opposed to nation building. Wonder which one was a lie since they can't both be true - unless you live on the other side of the looking glass.

Truth be told, Bush was relying on ancient philosophy in the way we went into Iraq. Sun Tzu, who wrote "The Art of War" in the 6th Century B.C., said "All war is based on deception."

The way I see it, Jon, you - and people like you - would rather this nation was more militaristic. You would prefer we become an aggressor.

Jon, I have to ask, are you proud of the way other countries look at us now? Do you enjoy the fact that we are now looked upon with trepidation instead of awe? Is it fitting within your conscience that we are now more hated around the world more than Russia?

We need new leadership to rebuild our reputation around the world. We do not need an "our way or the highway" attitude of GWB and his administration.

Let's see if I can figure out your final paragraph. You believe that the 25% of the people who believe in the war in Iraq will defeat the 75% who are opposed to the war? Talk about your fuzzy math.

Charlotte A. Weybright said...

Okay Jon:

You said:

"Evidently Rape rooms and Genocide was not reason enough to remove the prior Iraqi Regime because Sadam Hussein was the legal “sovereign" of a "sovereign nation" and “hey we should not invade and occupy a peaceful nation right?”

This is what always amazed me about those who supported Bush's insane foray into Iraq. How many other countries around the world fall within the criteria you listed above? Check the Parade's "Ten Worst Dictators" list.

Dozens - all you have to do is look around. Do you see us invading those countries? Bush had and still has an agenda for the Middle East. Anyone who now doubts that hasn't been paying any attention.

Jon Olinger said...

Ok now we are at least having an intelligent discussion.

Robert,
If you contend Bush lied about the WMD's in Iraq then you must believe the following:
1. Hillary Clinton Lied
2. John Kerry Lied
3. The CIA Lied (as all three got the same reports as GWB)
4. MI5 (British Secret Intelligence Service) created bogus information and provided it to the CIA.
5. Russian Intelligence Services also concocted the same information and provided it to British Intelligence and the CIA.

The many WMD's Sadam had in the 80's and 90's magically disappeared at the good will of one of the most evil dictator's of the second half of the 20th century.

We can kibitz all we want but there were clearly WMD's in Iraq post Gulf War I.

The question we should be asking ourselves is not if he had them, but” where are they now".

I actually agree with you on Nation Building. If you want Regime change either assassinate the bastard and let the winner of the civil war that follows select the next government, or invade, totally crush the occupied countries ability to wage war, then occupy and rebuild as we did in Germany and Japan in the 1940’s. Our problem is that we no longer crush our enemies to the degree we did in WWII before we begin nation building. The situation is also different with militant Islam. The true war on terror is a war on a fanatical sect of one specific religion. Changing governments does nothing positive because in most Islamic Countries the Religious leaders hold judicial power. The US fundamentally fails to understand that there can never be a true democracy with a truly Islamic country. Since the very nature of Islam places judicial power in the hands of the Mullahs any secular government will either cow tow to them (as in Iran), brutally repress any opposition (as in Iraq), or for ever be in fear of a coup (as in Saudi Arabia)

As for how other countries see us I really don’t care. They will whine about how America is the aggressor complain and hold us in contempt, but we will be the first ones they turn to when they need money or military assistance.

“Let's see if I can figure out your final paragraph. You believe that the 25% of the people who believe in the war in Iraq will defeat the 75% who are opposed to the war? Talk about your fuzzy math.”

I believe if the Democrats make Iraq the central issue of this presidential campaign the Republican’s will waltz into the White House for another four years.

Charlotte,
Your right we can’t be the police force for the world, but shouldn’t we draw a line at genocide?

Robert Rouse said...

Jon,

" ... but shouldn’t we draw a line at genocide?"

Are you saying we need to invade Darfur? How about going into Myanmar?

As for WMDs, why didn't we invade North Korea? Surely they are more of a threat to the US than Iraq was. Iraq was under total blockade. No Fly-Over zones, embargoes, etc. Yet Bush would not allow the UN inspectors to finish their job. We had nothing to lose by waiting. Saddam wasn't going anywhere.

If you read in the newspaper that Steve Martin died in a car crash and tell all your friends only to discover that the story you read was wrong, does that make you a liar?

We now know that the intelligence was cooked to allow Bush to go into Iraq. The Downing Street minutes tell us that much.

Before we went into Iraq, the Russians told us their prior intel on WMD were wrong. The thing about Yellow Cake Uranium in Niger says it all. Bush was told by the CIA that the British intel about that had been forged by an Italian. He was warned that the information was false yet decided to keep it in his State of the Union address. There is a huge difference between deception and false statements based on the intelligence you are given.

Jon Olinger said...

“Are you saying we need to invade Darfur? How about going into Myanmar?”

If military intervention will stop genocide, yes. If not Darfur then why Kosovo? One could use the “US interest” rule, but again, then why Kosovo? Are Eastern European lives any more valuable than Eastern African lives? Clearly in many cases military intervention by the U.S. will not stop the horror going on, but in many cases, such as Rwanda, it would have.

As for North Korea I think the next president will likely invade (or at least use air strikes against them). The major difference between Kim Jong Il and Sadam Hussein is that Kim Jong Il has never used WMD’s, Hussein did. If the UN was anything other than a gelding controlled by corrupt money grubbing bureaucrats it would have done something Hussein used gas on his own people.

Jon Olinger said...

We can argue all day and we'll have fun:), but we'll never convince each other. What amazes me are the many other items that we agree on. Even John and I agree on the smoking ban, more transparent government etc...

Robert Enders said...

I don't think that a person's stance on foriegn policy disqualifies him from serving on the school board. FWCS does not maintain embassies in other countries, nor does it possess a military, nor does it determine trade policies.

Jon Olinger said...

No but I've always thought we could invade and occupy SWAC. It would be much cheaper than rebuilding our infrastructure. But I can hear John now.... NO BLOOD FOR ISTEP!

Jeff Pruitt said...

Jon,

The North Vietnamese were at constant war w/ the Khmer Rouge and they were eventually the ones that put a stop to Pol Pot's madness.

However, I think the point you were making was that some Americans on the left saw the Khmer Rouge as a potentially populist savior or at the very least figured they couldn't be any worse. That was certainly a miscalculation.

However, I must disagree with another point - namely Iraq and the upcoming elections. The Democrats already made the '06 elections about Iraq and they won in a landslide. The same is going to happen in '08...

Jon Olinger said...

"However, I must disagree with another point - namely Iraq and the upcoming elections. The Democrats already made the '06 elections about Iraq and they won in a landslide. The same is going to happen in '08..."

The Democrats could have made the '06 elections about proper training of green monkeys and they would have won. The reason the Dem's won was the Republican base deserted Republican candidates. Bush and the Republican congress abandoned any semblance of conservative principles, and became the big government problem the Republican grass roots hates.

If Republican's try to out Liberal the Liberal's they will loose again. If they go back to their grass root principles of smaller government etc… or if Hillary wins the Dem nomination the grass root Republicans will engage and they will win the presidency in 08 and pick up seats in both houses. I would bet lunch on it.

Jeff Pruitt said...

You're on then...