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I've been a strong supporter of the concept of "community-oriented government" since long before I was elected to City Council in 1995. This approach has gone a long way during the last few years toward stimulating citizen activism and making sure that local government listens to and responds to that activism. Sometimes not everyone agrees on which direction our city should move; occasionally the funds are not available to complete a project for which there is significant support. Regardless it's still important to have citizen input and dialogue and involvement. With that thought in mind I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the hard-working neighborhood leaders throughout Waynedale and Indian Village. Equally as important are all of the other citizens of this area who make a telephone call or write a letter to the editor or attend a neighborhood meeting. Join me in doing everything we can to support community-oriented government - It's the way government was meant to work.

As you may be aware Mayor Graham Richard vetoed the redistricting ordinance recently passed by City Council. It remains to be seen whether Council will override the Mayor's veto which requires at least six votes. If there is not a successful vote to override this is a good time for all 9 members of Council to do 2 things: Listen more effectively to the voices of the concerned citizens and then negotiate and compromise to create a district map that responds to citizens input and also does a better job of following state and federal law. I'm optimistic that the redistricting process will conclude soon with a reasonable plan to follow for the 2003 city elections.

One topic about which there has been considerable public input is the future of Southtown Mall. Southtown Mall has been a focal point of the last 2 city elections and the same will probably be true of the 2003 election. I had originally been very optimistic that solutions would be found especially because several individuals with considerable business expertise were heavily involved in the efforts to save Southtown. Unfortunately, it has not yet been possible to develop a realistic plan, which will rejuvenate Southtown Mall. The legal entanglements are somewhat mind-boggling to say the least. I'll keep working on efforts to up-grade Southtown. Call the mayor and "at-large" council members if you feel this is an important issue.

Finally, Fort Wayne's "Toxaway Day" is planned for Saturday, Sept. 9th, from 9AM until 2:30PM. The location hasn't been announced but will be soon. On that day you can drop off items such as lawn/garden chemicals, oil-based paints, insecticides and garbage. A small fee will be charged. Keep your eyes on media reports for details. Thanks to the Allen County Solid Waste District for sponsoring this important event which helps protect our environment!

Give me a call with any questions or suggestions.


Tom Hayhurst
City Councilman 4th District

The Waynedale News Staff
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