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Letters to the editor


Shoaff works counter to councilís interests

What a shock to read the Dec. 12 letter disclosing an alternate plan promoted by Councilman John Shoaff using a roundabout at State and Clinton in a redesign plan for the State Boulevard Project.

As a resident of the Brookview Neighborhood and living among the closest homes to and affected by the future State Boulevard Project, I am aware of the strong approval for the city’s plan by a majority of my neighbors. Approval ratio of the city’s plan is 3-to-1 on Oakridge Road and 2-to-1 on Terrace Road. In the northwest quadrant, the ratio is 6 to 1 among association leaders in favor of the city’s plan.

City leaders have gone to great lengths to gather input from everyone on the project. The final attempts were three open-house viewings of the plan in February and March of 2013 and an interdisciplinary gathering in April 2013. Council President Tom Smith, at the December 11, 2012 city council meeting, laid out the agenda for plan approval.

The city’s final plan was made in midsummer of 2013. It is only waiting on several signatures before being presented at an open hearing.

After six years of input by our neighborhood, Shoaff now announces a redesigned plan with no full citizen input. He has spent five years claiming no neighborhood input to the city’s plan when the opposite was true. Now he spearheads a design with no input from the neighborhood, precisely his earlier complaint to city planners.

The only written input by ARCH at the city’s open house showings requesting citizen input was “Stop this unnecessary project!” Shoaff made no written comments on the city’s plan at the open house showings.

Shoaff states the alternate plan is a contribution by ARCH and Indiana Landmarks. He is willing to share the new proposal, assuming he gets permission of the sponsors to do so. What’s going on here? We have a City Council member needing permission from sponsors to disclose a plan without citizen input to use in replacing the final city’s plan which already has full citizen input.

Shoaff is clearly working on his own agenda and not that of the City Council. He should be reprimanded by the City Council for his actions and his plan ignored.


Ending townships an unwise move

As 2014 looms, our newest state representative in District 82, David Ober, follows his big government promoters in Indianapolis by worrying about local grassroots government administration.

In a survey sent out in December, he asks, “Do you support eliminating township boards and transferring their fiscal authority to the county- level government?” Might I point out that, unlike county- level government, A.. Township boards have no power to raise taxes; B. Township boards are bound by law to adhere to overseeing strict yearly budgets with no overspending; and C. Township board members are mandated by law to adhere to non-nepotism in overseeing the hiring of personnel along with any contracts for services administered. All members sign a document yearly concerning this practice.

Do you really think it’s in the township’s taxpayers’ best interests to toss this out in favor of bigger county and state government with none of the guidelines mentioned?

JOHN R. BANET President, Lake Township Board Fort Wayne

Time being wasted on duplicative HJR 6

In less than a month, our state legislators will return to Indianapolis. Indiana faces many challenges that need to be addressed. One issue that is unworthy of debate is HJR 6. If approved at all levels, this measure would permanently strip away basic protections for numerous Indiana residents.

As a Republican precinct committeeman in Allen County, I support limited and effective government. HJR 6 upholds neither of these principles. This amendment would represent yet another unnecessary intrusion into the personal lives of Hoosiers. Further, it would duplicate existing state law. Current statutes already define marriages in Indiana as between one man and one woman. Because of this, it would be a distraction for legislators who should instead be spending their limited time tackling actual problems in the state.

As a taxpayer, I do not appreciate when legislators get paid to needlessly debate issues that have already been decided. Anyone who also believes the General Assembly should focus on important public policy matters should join me in opposing HJR 6.


Lessened pension a small sacrifice

I read with some interest the Dec. 18 lead headline regarding the provision in the recent budget deal to impose a slight decrease in military pensions. As a retired Army officer, I for one am happy to accept this small sacrifice to help put our nation’s finances in order. This is one of many small sacrifices that must be made to put the national budget on a sustainable path.

SCOTT R. McMEEN Fort Wayne