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COUNCILMAN’S CORNER

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As you are probably aware City Council has spent the last several months evaluating the administration's health insurance package offered to city employees. Council members got involved in the insurance matter after city employees let us know they were concerned about the lack of choice in the plan being offered. After much input including the opinions of 3 business insurance experts who kindly volunteered their time an agreement was finally reached last week. The 2002 insurance package will allow employees more choice and flexibility at a moderate increase in cost to employees and to the city. I feel that a good resolution was found to the debate over city employee health insurance.

There have been more developments in the ongoing effort to save Southtown Mall. The entire process has certainly been long and laborious to say the least. I'm convinced that if there is a way to breathe new life into Southtown Mall Mayor Graham Richard and his private sector "Team" will find it. I personally know developers Don Steininger and Jerry Henry and business real estate expert Barry Sturges and I'm sure they have Fort Wayne's welfare at heart as they do all they can to resurrect Southtown Mall. The city may have to put some taxpayer dollars into Southtown; I'm inclined to vote yes to that concept as long as the private sector shares in any financial risk. Further information to follow...

Recently I've received calls regarding cars and especially trucks speeding on Sandpoint Road. Sandpoint is winding and somewhat dangerous and speeding on that road puts everyone—including kids going to and from school—at high risk. I've asked the police department to focus on speeders on Sandpoint Road and the City Traffic Engineering Department to come up with suggestions as to how to make Sandpoint a safer thoroughfare.

City council recently voted 6-3 to support Councilman Tom Henry's ordinance outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation. I had originally planned to vote instead for a tentative City Council resolution. However, after a lot of thought and citizen input I voted for the ordinance after introducing an amendment that requires a council revote after one year. My vote for the ordinance was based on my belief that there is no reason that anyone in our society should be denied a job or housing due to a personal trait whether it be sexual orientation or religion, race, age gender, etc. Let me know your opinion—this measure will be voted on again in June 2002.

Addendum: To those who have asked me about the following: The city is checking on the illegal dumping that maybe occurring north of United Refuse landfill site.

 

Tom Hayhurst
City Councilman
4th District
432-8418

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