Mayor Tom Henry on Wednesday tried to make hay of some recent comments of his opponent, saying she is planning to cut vital city services.
“On county council Paula Hughes voted to cut vital services like snow removal,” Henry said. “Now she says leaf collection is a luxury she would consider eliminating.”
Hughes, however, said Henry was simply “playing politics” by changing the facts. She said the statement that she cut snow removal is “ludicrous” and that she called leaf collection a luxury in comparison to police and fire protection.
Henry was joined by several neighborhood officials at his event, who called on voters to oppose candidates willing to cut important services.
Hughes said her record speaks for itself.
“My perspective on the leaf pickup is it is a luxury as a citizen,” Hughes previously told The Journal Gazette. “Do I enjoy it? Yes. Do I think we need to evaluate whether that is a priority? ... I think it is up for discussion.”
Allen County cut its highway department by 20 percent in 2008, including laying off 19 employees, because of reduced revenues caused by the city’s annexation of much of Aboite Township. Hughes served on the county council that approved this budget.
Highway officials said at the time they would send 10 to 12 fewer trucks out to plow snow along county roads because of the cuts. This would cause the department to need another hour to 90 minutes to clear main roads, a spokeswoman said at the time.