Political Notebook

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Four-variable sausage making

Fort Wayne City Council’s John Crawford, R-at large, has always been the body’s numbers man. Government high-finance that leaves others bleary-eyed doesn’t phase him at all. So when he says something is complicated, you should get nervous. But when he describes something like he did Tuesday night, you know it’s going to a doozy.

For months, the city’s Fiscal Policy Group has been grappling with ways to deal with both a looming cash crunch due to property tax caps, and a growing $60 million shortfall for road projects because of drops in gas tax revenue. But the group is just about to start making its recommendations. Here’s how Crawford described the process:

“Starting next week, Controller (Pat) Roller’s going to start doing sort of a primer for everyone who hasn’t been in on those meetings (to explain to them) and the public and the citizens, all the constituencies, all the other jurisdictions, that everything we do will effect, in a very complicated, four-variable, sub-variable, three-dimensional algorithm way,” he said. “So we’ve got a lot of work to do in the next four months.”

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