From time to time in the past it has seemed important for me to make special mention of a citizen who has contributed much to "The Waynedale News" area as well as to the city of Fort Wayne. The individual whom I feel needs to be given a special pat on the back is the President of the Belle Vista Neighborhood Association, PAUL RYKARD! Paul has worked tirelessly on many projects in our community with the able support of his energetic and dedicated wife, Billie. He has been a leader of the Belle Vista neighborhood for many years and has, along with many others, brought many improvements and a real sense of pride to that neighborhood. Paul has also contributed much in his leadership positions at the Southwest Area partnership as well as the Sewer Task force that successfully spearheaded a citizens' movement to upgrade our public utilities. Paul has had some significant health problems recently and Paul's many supporters and friends and I wish him well. Thanks Paul!
Plans continue for the rejuvenation of Southtown Mall. As you are aware, the Southtown Plan passed City Council by an 8-1 vote. The great news is that in addition to providing a solid boost to the entire south side of Fort Wayne, the conservative estimate is that this project will create 500 to 800 new jobs!
Two items have recently come up that have important implications relative to public safety. First, the Mayor announced on February 19th that new traffic signals, with dedicated left turn lanes, will be installed at the Bluffton Road-Lower Huntington Road intersection this year. Since new lane marking and other measures to improve traffic flow did not solve problems at that intersection, city engineers recommended further improvements that should help considerably. The other public safety and fire department chiefs, as well as several F.W.P.D. neighborhood liaison officers, have told me that they're concerned about how difficult it often is to identify addresses on the front of homes and businesses. This problem can obviously result in a dangerous delay in police, fire, or EMS service! Please take a close look at the front of your home or business and make sure that the house number is plainly visible whether it is daytime or late at night. Doing so may save your life or prevent your home from burning down.
As you are aware, 2003 is a city election year. There should be and will be a public debate regarding important issues. As far as I'm concerned, there's no reason for any candidate to attack another candidate in a hostile, negative manner. If any candidate does so, my suggestion is; don't vote for that individual, whatever his or her party affiliation. Let's debate the issues in a civil manner. It's the Fort Wayne Way!
Call me with any questions or suggestions!
City Councilman, 4th District