The new term of the Fort Wayne Common Council is marked by the addition of three new faces. Actually, that is a bit of a mis-description as At-Large Councilman John Crawford rejoins the Council, new 5th District Councilman Geoff Paddock has had experience as a member of the Fort Wayne School Board, and new 2nd District Russ Jehl is someone I've known for quite some time and whose judgment I respect.
Each brings valuable experience to the task of representing constituents in the City of Fort Wayne.
I have known Geoff since we were both in Junior High. That we have known each other for quite awhile is underscored by the fact that Geoff reminded me the current terminology is "Middle School."
I look forward to working with each of the new members. Council meetings have taken on somewhat of a collegial tone since the beginning of the new year and that is a good thing.
Recently, I spoke to the Winterset Neighborhood Association Annual meeting and told them that working together is particularly important with the 5th District as it and the 4th share common boundaries. This is important whether dealing with flooding issues regarding the St. Mary's or Fairfield Ditch, transportation issues such as with Ardmore or Engle or parks and recreation issues with trails or Foster Park.
Councilman Paddock and I have already had numerous discussions regarding common issues affecting our districts.
Not the least of those issues is the ongoing discussions regarding the Air National Guard. We are united in wanting to see the A-10s remain at the National Guard base at Fort Wayne International Airport. The military has had a continuous presence at the airport since it was built at the beginning of WW II. It is important economically for the region but particularly Waynedale.
It was cheering to know that the Air Force was not looking at closure as had initially been feared but was recommending the basing here of MC 12 manned intelligence, reconnaisance, and surveillance aircraft. These are important combat support aircraft important to the national defense effort.
Let me close by noting that this coming Labor Day weekend that Waynedale and the Fort Wayne International Airport will be the site of 2012 Fort Wayne Air Show. 50,000 visitors are expected for the air show. It will be from August 31 to September 2 and is free to the public. It is presented by the 122nd FW Air National Guard. Organizing such a large event is ongoing. You can go to FWAirshow.com to sign up for more information. A full launch of the website will occur this Spring.