Statement issued Monday:
Fort Wayne, Ind. – Putting public involvement in the spotlight, Mayor Tom Henry and the Legacy Fort Wayne Task Force today invited the entire community to join in the conversation about the future of the Fort Wayne Community Trust and City Light Lease Settlement funds. The comprehensive, civic participation campaign will unfold throughout the month of March. It will feature a wide array of communications and outreach methods, both traditional and digital.
“It’s time to share your ideas,” said Mayor Henry. “March is Legacy Fort Wayne’s community engagement month. From public forums and group proposals to Feedback Fort Wayne and Meetups, there are lots of ways for residents to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime discussion. The Task Force and I want everyone to get involved. Together, we can shape the future.”
Mayor Henry has made community engagement the centerpiece of the Legacy Fort Wayne initiative. The goal of this phase is to foster a broad-based, citywide dialogue about the uses of these unique resources, now totaling over $77 million.
The public input component includes community meetings, a special process for groups and organizations, Meetups and Feedback Fort Wayne.
The Legacy Fort Wayne public forums are open to all residents and will be held at locations across the city. The schedule details seven, interactive sessions. The revised list is as follows:
March 9 Indiana Institute of Technology 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Andorfer Commons, Room 204
1600 East Washington Boulevard
March 9 Public Safety Academy of Northeast Indiana 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
7602 Patriot Crossing
March 10 Canterbury High School 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
3210 Smith Road
Enter through Door 5
March 14 Allen County Public Library – Downtown 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Rooms B & C 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
900 Library Plaza
March 15 Snider High School 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
4600 Fairlawn Pass
Enter through Door 3
March 16 Northrop High School 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
7001 Coldwater Road
Enter through Door 1
Working with community partners, specific audience meetings have also been woven into the overall civic engagement plan. Legacy Fort Wayne wants to ensure that it gathers input from all segments of the community and that the initiative reflects the diversity of Fort Wayne.
To promote the enthusiasm of Fort Wayne’s many organizations, a group proposal option has been developed. Submissions are welcomed from area advocacy organizations, nonprofit boards, associations, commissions and other established entities. Suggestions are also encouraged from organizations or groups that want to collaborate. An overview document containing explanatory information and directions is obtainable at www.LegacyFortWayne.org under the Group Proposals’ heading on the navigation bar.
A new addition to the community involvement roster is the popular, online organizational tool, Meetup. Meetup makes it easy for residents to coordinate informal, real-world Legacy Fort Wayne events in homes or public places. The Meetup ideas are then collected and transmitted digitally through the Legacy Fort Wayne website. Everything required to start a Meetup or to find one already set can be found at www.meetup.com/Legacy-Fort-Wayne/. The same Idea form created for Meetup use can also be employed by individuals independently. It can be accessed under the Ideas heading at www.LegacyFortWayne.org.
Since its debut mid-January, soon after the announcement of Legacy Fort Wayne, Feedback Fort Wayne, at www.FeedbackFortWayne.org, has remained the most immediate way for residents to provide comment. The hosted, Web-based forum gives users the opportunity to offer suggestions, discuss them and vote for their preferences at any time.
“This is a real moment of opportunity for Fort Wayne,” emphasized Mayor Henry. “These funds are a unique legacy. They can become a mighty catalyst and have a lasting impact. Our challenge is to look to the future, think long term, be bold. If we use these resources wisely, we can strengthen our community and better position us for economic growth. Legacy Fort Wayne needs your ideas.”
In April, following the community engagement activities, all of the input and proposals will be compiled and sorted by impact areas and compared with the guiding principles. The Task Force will review and analyze all of the data in May and June. Focus groups may be held during this period to gain additional insight, refine concepts and determine preliminary feasibility. A report from the Task Force is anticipated to be completed by midsummer.
All of the public input assembled during the community involvement piece of Legacy Fort Wayne will be posted on the Legacy Fort Wayne website. Moreover, the whole of it will be considered by the Task Force as the members formulate the recommendations they will make to the Mayor and share with Fort Wayne City Council.
Formed by Mayor Henry, Legacy Fort Wayne is the community initiative to guide decision making about the Fort Wayne Community Trust and City Light Lease Settlement funds.
While Legacy Fort Wayne will unfold over the next several months, the two funds will not become available until the settlement agreement has received the approval of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.