As you are probably aware, City Council is moving 'forward' towards a vote on redistricting the 6 current council districts. There doesn't seem to be any serious interest by a majority of council members, regarding adding 2 more council members (this had previously been discussed as an option and made sense to me). A public hearing regarding the various alternative plans is being held this week. Every option I've seen to date keeps Waynedale and Indian Village in a single district. At the conclusion of the redistricting process, (which is mandated by state law), the 6 Fort Wayne Councilmanic Districts will each contain about 32,000 citizens, a major improvement from the current situation. Districts vary from 28,000 to 46,000.
When the Aboite area is annexed in 2006 the district lines will most likely be redrawn again and 2 more districts will probably be created. Let me know if you have any suggestions regarding this year's redistricting process.
I've received a few calls recently regarding the deteriorating properties surrounded by weeds and tall grass on the south side of the 2900 block of Lower Huntington Rd. I've talked with the neighborhood code enforcement staff and they're going to work to get those properties cleaned up. It never ceases to amaze me that some property owners decide that they can allow weeds to grow and the structures on a property to deteriorate. They always seem to forget that when a property falls into disorder it isn't just the property owner who's affected. Falling property values, poor morale, and deterioration of other properties and public health problems such as rats often result. Sometimes property owners have health problems or owners can't afford to fix up their homes. With those exceptions I have very little patience with owners of trashy properties. I strongly support the efforts of the neighborhood code enforcement division to enforce Fort Wayne's minimum housing laws. In fact, I believe enforcement should be even stronger. Thanks to prior N.C.E. Gary Baeten for his hard work and welcome to new director Greg Leatherman.
As you read this column the Three Rivers Festival will already be underway. Last year I took my grandson to Kids Day at IPFW and it was great. The "T.R.F." is much more oriented toward young people than it was 5-10 years ago, which I believe is a positive development. See you at the Three Rivers Festival.