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FINANCIAL STATE OF FT. WAYNE - MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR

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Mayor Tom HenryThe financial state of our City – today and in the future – continues to be in the forefront of my administration. We are determined to do what is best for our citizens and will continue seeking support for a fiscal policy plan that best positions our City for future growth and success.

The plan combines savings to taxpayers, while also increasing revenues to keep Fort Wayne sustainable and continue a quality of life that builds for the future.

What the plan that's been presented to City Council would do is:
*Add 20 more police officers.
*Add 15 more firefighters.
*Increase the amount of street improvements from 34 miles this year to 70 miles each year in future years without having to borrow money.
*Improvements to Parks facilities without having to borrow money.
*Property tax relief for homeowners.
*Small increase in income tax in order to continue with important, necessary services that citizens expect and deserve and would still have one of the lowest income tax rates in northeast Indiana.

I know I've written about this issue before, but I can't over emphasize the importance of developing a sound fiscal policy. We're at a critical time in the history of our City. We must invest in our community and look to the future. City Council has been presented with a plan that will sustain our City and position us to be able to have tremendous neighborhoods, a great quality of life, job growth, business expansion, additional police officers and firefighters, and improvements to our streets, roads, and parks. Please join me in supporting this plan.

On another note, I and several city staff members recently led a business walk at Jefferson Pointe and we had a wonderful time! The walk served as an opportunity to talk to and get feedback from business owners and citizens. This business walk was the first in a series of neighborhood and business walks we have planned.

Open dialogue with citizens is extremely important to me. These events give citizens and business owners a chance to meet City staff from various divisions, and share their issues, concerns, and ideas for improvement.

The community walks are another example of our ongoing commitment to engagement, innovation, and performance. We also continue to seek feedback on the City of Fort Wayne website, at Mayor's Night In events, and via social media.

On a final note, our City is celebrating one of our greatest assets – our golf courses! As you may know, Foster Park Golf Course is 85 years old this year, Shoaff Park Golf Course is 55 and McMillen Park Golf Course is celebrating its 50th year.

The celebration will continue on Sunday, June 23 at all of the Parks & Recreation golf courses with reduced fees, special drawings, and golf course membership giveaways. On June 23, the price to play 18 holes of golf at Foster Park Golf Course will be $8.50 (cart extra); the price for McMillen Park Golf Course will be $5.50 (cart extra); and the price at Shoaff Park Golf Course will be $5 (cart extra). Golfers over 80 years old can play at McMillen Park Golf Course for free on June 23. Everyone who plays on June 23 will be entered in a drawing to win a golf membership for the year.

Our Parks & Recreation Director Al Moll is also committed to replacing some of the trees that were lost on all the golf courses, as a result of the Emerald Ash Borer crisis. The City will replace 85 trees at Foster Park Golf Course, 55 trees at McMillen Golf Course, and 50 trees at Shoaff Golf Course this year.

If you would like to play golf on June 23 at Foster, McMillen or Shoaff golf courses, be sure to reserve your tee time at www.fortwayneparks.org.

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Mayor Tom Henry
About This Author
A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column.
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