Joint statement issued Wednesday by the City of Fort Wayne and the Office of the Allen County Prosecutor on the issue of a Fort Wayne city court:
The process of investigating a City Court has highlighted concerns shared by both the City and the County in the area of better enforcement of local laws, enhanced public safety and greater protection of our neighborhoods. Both the City and the County are dedicated to finding what works best, what is most efficient and what best serves the public. The dialogue that this issue has opened up between City and County officials is providing new paths to approach these matters.
The idea of a Fort Wayne City Court is one that has been talked about for some time. The ordinance calling for a City Court was prepared because City Clerk Sandy Kennedy, various members of Fort Wayne City Council, including Council President Marty Bender and Councilman Glynn Hines, along with the Henry administration, all believed it to be a good idea. Research supported its pursuit.
Fort Wayne and Allen County officials are keenly aware that in these difficult economic times, local government must constantly find better ways to serve the public and to ensure that our laws are properly enforced.
One of the City of Fort Wayne’s top priorities has been the creation of a more effective and cost-efficient local government. Central to achieving that goal is the Mayor’s commitment to continuous process improvements. It is something City staff work to realize every day. Saving resources and making sure that every tax dollar yields maximum citizen value are key operational principles.
Though time was short, exploring the City Court idea and preserving the option through legislative action were deemed worthwhile. Passage of the ordinance would not have mandated the formation of the court, but simply assured that all options to improving the delivery of these services remained available.
In light of the new opportunities for dialogue, the City, City Council and the County/Prosecutor’s Office have agreed to address these issues and work to secure those solutions within the current system. As part of that mutual understanding, the ordinance calling for the establishment of a Fort Wayne City Court has been withdrawn from consideration.