Monday, October 12, 2015

Mitch Harper On The Fort Report

The News-Sentinel's Kevin Leininger has an excellent 30-minute interview with Fort Wayne's Republican mayoral candidate Mitch Harper. It's really unfortunate we have no serious interviews with our mayoral candidates in Indianapolis occurring on the level Leininger conducts this interview with Harper, who offers straight-talking, articulate and well-considered views on a host of issues facing city government. The discussion is probably above the level the average voter is able to comprehend, but it's at the level those of serious about our governance expect.

Harper lays out his plans to end political cronyism and corporate welfare, re-purpose TIFs to their original purpose of facilitating public infrastructure improvements, not public subsidies, for development needs and re-focusing attention on neighborhood development instead of an over-emphasis on downtown development. You will also hear Harper indicate his opposition to any public subsidies for a new arena, which apparently billionaire Herb Simon wants to see happen now that he owns Fort Wayne's Mad Ants' of the NBA D-League The old Coliseum just won't cut it for the greedy billionaire. Herb's emissaries are apparently already telling folks up in the Summit City they'll have to swallow a new food and beverage tax to finance a brand new downtown arena for the Mad Ants.


Anonymous said...

Fort Wayne is the best city in Indiana. The people are more engaged. The city has taken steps to keep up with infrastructure. Downtown is small, but surprisingly vibrant. There's not the wholesale abandonment there is in Indy. The neighborhoods are in much better shape. The economy is about more than catering to people who still think they're in college and live to get blitzed every Friday night. If, when I moved back to Indiana I had moved there, I might be staying.

Thia isn't hard to understand if you look at it objectively instead of through the rose-colored "Go Indy" glasses so many people here wear. Indy gets the coverage it gets because that's all Indy demands of its media. Fort Wayne obviously demands more.

One more note on this and then I'll shut up. I share all of the frustration posted here about lost opportunity, but fixing a city this broken is really hard and requires a concerted long term effort. It requires spending a lot of money on very unglamorous things like filling potholes and by that I mean with a little pride instead of just dumping a bag of hot patch and letting people drive over it. It requires maintaining all those sexy buildings after you build them. I hear all this nonsense about union quality and pride, and yet I've lived in non-union states where buildings and roads seem to last much longer than here.

I don't see the kind of courage in either mayoral candidate that suggests either one of them is up to the task at hand. Instead, I see two guys who are masters of the sound bite. They know how to produce a 30 second spot and that's about it. Fort Wayne wouldn't settle for these two clowns, and that's the difference in a nutshell between Indy and places with a future.

Chas. M. Navarra said...

To Anon 4:00 AM: What a well-crafted message that goes to the very heart of these Indianapolis issues serious thinkers can conceive and thus be profoundly disturbed when it comes to the direction of our municipality. Thank you for clearly expressing your viewpoint. Not that it really matters but I want to be on record that I appreciate every solid point you make... regardless of the time of day you posted your viewpoints.

I very recently had some hateful "shade" dished in my direction via email by a City Councilor who mocked me for posting on Advance Indiana in the early morning hours.

Truth is truth no matter what time of day it is expressed.

Anonymous said...

City Councilor's are probably not happy to have their "work" exposed to a discerning public lest they be seen for being enemies of the public...which, in too many cases THEY ARE. But, getting back to Fort Wayne, one way they have to excel is that they have a number of religious schools and they not only turn out a better product BUT they compel the government schools to ATTEMPT to improve THEIR product. Over a long period of time one can have only benefit from this interaction.