Happy New Year to all of the readers of the Waynedale News! As you are aware, the holiday season was ushered in by a great snowfall which hung around a few days so kids on winter break could enjoy some winter weather which seemed like the weather of 10 or 20 years ago. As usual the heavy snow on Christmas Eve had its negative side as well...the challenge of keeping our roads and streets open so each of us could make it to church or our job or the grocery store. The recent snow was probably only the 1st of many similar challenges for the Fort Wayne Street Department during the 2002-2003 season. I'll echo the Journal-Gazette by giving the Street Dept. staff a big pat on the back for a snow removal job well done. I did receive a couple of calls from individuals who live on "cul-de-sac" streets that were missed by the snowplows but those problems were quickly remedied. Give the Street Dept. a call at 427-1235 or call me at 432-8418 if your street is missed after a snowfall. If you talk with someone who works on the snow removal team thank them for getting off to a good start this "snow season". By the way, don't forget that Fort Wayne's snowplows hit the major thoroughfares 1st, then plow arterials such as Sandpoint Road and Winchester Road, and then clean up the snow on residential streets. I'd appreciate some feedback regarding snow removal in the "Waynedale News" area.
You probably haven't heard much about Chapter 152 of the City Code but it's likely had an effect on your life or on the life of someone you know. That section of city law spells out minimum standards for housing in our city. The overwhelming majority of Fort Wayne's citizens don't need a law to remind them that any dwelling in our city should have a roof that's not full of holes, gutters that function, a heating system that actually works so no one freezes, decent water and plumbing connections, and a yard that's not full of trash. Unfortunately, there are more than a few citizens of Fort Wayne who just haven't caught on to this concept. That's why Chapter 152 spells out the bare minimum housing standards for our city. In 1999 that section of City Code was amended to promote more efficient enforcement but also to create a Citizens' Review Board (CRB) to hear appeals from property owners who feel they need some extra time to complete home improvement projects. Sometimes it is a matter of not being able to afford improvements—happily the CRB can give extra time and financial help is often available. It's up to City Council to complete a review of the effects of the 1999 City Code housing amendments by June 2003 and then to decide whether to continue on the same track regarding housing enforcement. Has the city been more efficient in getting that problem property down the street from you fixed up—or are there still unresolved problems?? Are the Neighborhood Code Enforcement inspectors being fair and balanced or are they citing properties without adequate provision for appeal by the property owner? Let me know your thoughts regarding this matter. Call or email me at the address below.
Finally, I've heard some "rumblings" from "City Hall" recently that while the lane improvements at the Bluffton Rd.-L. Huntington Rd. intersection have helped improve traffic flow there is a realization that more needs to be done. I'm still lobbying the mayor and the traffic engineering staff to upgrade the traffic signals at that intersection with dedicated turn lanes with directional signals. I'd like that to be done at least on a temporary trial basis. I'm more optimistic that those needed improvements will be completed in the future but you can still help by reminding the mayor with a letter or a personal comment how you feel about this issue.
I hope you're finding some time during this holiday season to spend some extra time with family and friends!
Once again, Happy New Year!!
City Councilman—4th District