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Welcome to a new year and new leadership in the City of Fort Wayne. I am honored to serve all people of Indiana's second largest city including Waynedale's residents.

I have ambitious ideas for our city, building on the successes of Mayor Graham Richard and bringing new thoughts to the table. I will outline these plans in my State of the City address later this month, but here are few of interest to Waynedale.

Coordination of local economic development efforts: One of the things I've heard from Fort Wayne residents is how we need more and better jobs. We have many local partners working on those targets. I'd like to see a coordinated effort using the unique talents of each organization collaborating on common goals. I'll be sure to include more about this soon.

Linking education to economic development: We can't attract the kind of jobs Fort Wayne residents want if our workforce isn't skilled. That's why I'd like to connect Fort Wayne's education community, both at the high school and university levels, to employers and business leaders. I have many ideas on how to make this happen so look for more news about this in the coming months.

Importance of sidewalks and alleys with a Sidewalk Strategy and Alley Improvement Initiative: Sidewalks are key to keeping our neighborhoods pedestrian friendly. I would like to create a comprehensive assessment of existing sidewalks and "sidewalks-to-nowhere" with a sidewalk inventory. We also need to assess our city's alleys and then develop a plan to repair and maintain them.

Continued supaport of our talented and skilled public safety professionals: Fort Wayne's police and fire departments are important to the overall safety and well-being of our city. As mayor, I would like to expand cross-training of our firefighters to expand the number of certified paramedics and champion the new Regional Public Safety Academy. It's important to continue the police department's take-home car program for visibility in neighborhoods and press for full consolidation of the city and the county's communications and 911 call center.

We've got a lot of work ahead of us. I want to continue the strong path our city is on, but I can't do it alone. I look forward to the ongoing participation of Waynedale residents and people throughout the city in keeping Fort Wayne a great place to live, raise a family and do business.


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