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COUNCILMAN’S CORNER

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By the time you read this column, the county/state/national elections will be over. That will probably be a relief to many who have become tiered of the endless stream of political advertisements during the last few weeks. The good or bad news is that 2002 is the first year of a three-year election cycle that includes the city elections next year and another round of country/state/national elections in 2004. It's not uncommon to hear many complaints about our election process and there's no question in my mind that improvements need to be made. On the other hand I've developed an increased respect for our governmental structure since I've been elected to City Council and have dealt with issues directly addressed by our State and US Constitutions. Our founding fathers at both the national and state levels made some brilliant decisions in establishing our constitutional form of government. In many countries today as well as in the past, governments and laws are changed at the point of a gun rather than at the ballot box. To those who disagree with our government's decisions or the election process itself, my challenge to you is this. Become more involved, not less involved, and bring about change through the ballot box as many have done throughout history.

City leaf pickup is currently underway. This is a great service provided by local government that is not available in many communities. Leaf pickup is scheduled for the south side of the city including the Waynedale and Indian Village areas for Nov. 18-20 and De. 9-13. Please be sure to place leaves in the park strip between the curb and sidewalk or in your yard near the curb—-leaves should not be placed in the street where they may be a traffic hazard or a dangerous temptation as a place for kids to play. Give me a call at 432-8418 if you are missed for any reason during the leaf collection—which now happens only rarely, since the Street Dept. has become very efficient during the last few years. Also, be sure to let the FW Fire Dept. know about any burning of leaves within city limits which is not only a cause of air pollution but is also illegal under current city code.

I've had a few calls and discussions recently about dogs in the "Waynedale News" area. There have been more reports of dogs running off leash, which is not only against the law but also passes a significant risk to kids and adults and even other pets. Also the Ft. Wayne Animal Control Shelter has been handling record numbers of dogs and cats despite a several year spay/neuter program in the Ft. Wayne area. If your pet is ever missing be sure to contact Animal Care and Control Division as soon as possible so it can be returned. Also it's a good idea to spay/neuter your pets and have an identification chip implanted so your pet can be instantly identified if it is picked up. Finally, one other item—thanks to everyone who volunteers at Animal Care and Control!

As you are probably aware, despite the fact that the Airport Authority voted to close Smith Field there is still a tremendous community debate regarding this issue. I would personally like to see Smith Field kept open—especially if there is a major infusion of private dollars. On the other hand, I also believe that it does the community no good to go through a prolonged and seemingly endless debate regarding Smith Field. I'm pushing for a near-term resolution of this issue and for all of those involved in the discussion to accept the final decision rather than continuing the battle in the courts. It's fine to engage in a community debate regarding Smith Field or any other issue but we have to reach an endpoint soon and move on to other community challenges. Let me know your thoughts regarding these or other issues!

 

Tom Hayhurst
City Councilman
4th District 432-8418

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