In my last column I wrote about recent problems with criminal activity in the neighborhoods north and south of Sandpoint Road between Ardmore Ave. and Bluffton Rd. The most common crimes are thefts from cars as well as thefts from yards, homes, and other private property. The Ft. Wayne Police Department’s Southwest Division under the guidance of Deputy Chief Doug Lucker has definitely stepped up patrols in that area in an effort to prevent crime or at least to arrest criminals as soon as possible after a crime has been committed. On August 26th 2002, a meeting was held at the Waynedale Library between neighborhoods most affected and Deputy Chief Lucker, Crime Prevention Specialist Jim Neu, Officer Cornell Wiley, Southwest Area Specialist Gina Kostoff, and yours truly. It is my hope that enhanced Citizens’ Crime Watch targeting those neighborhoods will result from that meeting. Some volunteers have already come forward; if you want to help out in this CCW process in which I also plan to participate, give me a call at 432-8418!

The City Council is currently reviewing the city budget sent down from the 9th floor by Mayor Graham Richard. As you are probably aware, Council can cut but not add to the budget. The 2003 budget contains $50,000 less than 2002 for CEDIT (County Economic Development Income Tax) expenditures in each councilmanic district for infrastructure items such as curbs, streetlights, street resurfacing, etc. I understand that tax revenues are projected to drop off in 2003 and that it was necessary for the Mayor to make cuts in the budget he sent to council for review. On the other hand, district CEDIT dollars have always been dedicated toward improving life in the neighborhoods of our city, (helping making Community Oriented Government a reality), which makes cuts in that budgetary line item especially difficult to accept. I’m determined to be as creative as possible in stretching district CEDIT dollars during 2003 to get maxim “bang for the buck.”

A several month review of the future of our great system is currently getting underway. The goal is to obtain maximum citizens input as well as the input of the parks and historical professionals, to form a consensus, and then to upgrade most of Ft. Wayne’s parks over a several year period. Fort Wayne has tentatively committed many dollars to this long-term project. Generous citizens groups, which advocate for our parks have agreed to contribute even more dollars in a 3:1 public private match. Eventually you will be asked to offer your ideas regarding the future of our park system. For now, let me know your thoughts at the telephone number below, with a letter to me at City Council Office on the 2nd floor or the City-County Building, or at my e-mail address which is

Finally, it is my understanding that efforts are currently underway to renovate and expand the Scott’s Grocery Store in Waynedale. Scott’s is not only a place to buy groceries—it is an institution in the Waynedale area where shoppers congregate to share the latest news and to socialize. I am willing to help out in any way I can to make the Scott’s expansion a reality—hopefully sooner rather than later!!

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