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Web letter by Dick Modezjewski: Spending funds on neighborhoods would cement Henry’s legacy

It is good to know we have so much thought about economic development being done in and around Allen County and Fort Wayne and that our elected official are working so hard to bring more business and higher-paying jobs back into the area. They are working so very hard to keep and save jobs that they can’t spend fast enough on consultants and studies to keep business and bring jobs downtown.

Over the past six months I have been involved with our neighborhood association trying to improve the lives of residents and help keep the fabric of our neighborhood where it is right now – trying not to lose any more ground to the decline of the infrastructure such as sidewalks, curbs, streets and park. You know, the things that make a good neighborhood but not so much good press.

I have heard from more than one city department that “we don’t have the money” or “that is not in our budget” or – my favorite – “you should have been at the public meeting if you want to get on ‘the list’ ” to have that done. It has baffled me why public hearings are always at a time when the working man or woman can’t afford to take time off to attend the meeting. When did getting sidewalks, curbs and streets fixed get so hard with so many lists to get on and hoops to jump through.

I am constantly being told that we have the planning department/community development and they are working on that issue. There has been so much double and triple talk that it is hard to tell who cares and who is there just for the job. In the end I leave confused and down, thinking why should I try to make a difference in my city or neighborhood. It is no wonder not many people get involved with city and neighborhood programs; the bureaucrats wear you down, the elected officials wear you down and then say you should have been at the meeting with the consultant that we had six months ago on that subject.

The mayor has a great opportunity to show leadership and to help save the neighborhoods or at the very least make a difference in the lives of the residents of Fort Wayne by using the Legacy Fund to fund projects within the neighborhoods and parks throughout the city and just not in the downtown area. Mayor Tom Henry’s legacy would be as the mayor who cared for the people who elected him.

It is time for someone to ask one question: What will be the legacy of the Legacy Fund?

JOHN E. MODEZJEWSKI

Fort Wayne

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