As I regularly note at this time of the year an important holiday isn’t too far off. Memorial Day is an important opportunity to say “Thank You” to all of our U.S. war veterans who sacrificed so we would have the opportunity to live in a free country. I’m convinced that without the efforts of our servicemen and women we would be living in a vastly different world without our present freedoms. I’m also convinced that we will be challenged in the future….perhaps not by Nazi or Communist dictators but by other equally dedicated adversaries. Be sure to thank military vets as well as those currently on active duty. An excellent way to do so is by attending a Memorial Day parade whether in Waynedale or elsewhere in the city. See you there.

You’ve probably heard that redistricting of Fort Wayne’s councilmanic districts is scheduled to occur this year. I have only one vote on our 9-member city council, which will vote on the final city council district map. I’m concerned based on the preliminary maps I’ve seen, that the future council district map may divide the Waynedale area between 2 districts. Whether or not I’m your city council representive after the year 2003 city election, I feel the Waynedale area is a unified community which should be represented by one city council member. As I said, I have only one vote on council. I’ll “lobby” my colleagues regarding this matter but if you have the opportunity, encourage “At Large” council members Ravine, Crawford, and Talarico to support this concept!

Fort Wayne’s new “Weed Ordinance” will be in effect this spring and summer and should help your local government “clean-up” neglected properties. Another important part of the “clean-up” effort is the All City Clean-Up Day…Saturday May 18th. That date is a great opportunity to organize a project to help remove unwanted trash and debris from your neighborhood. After the morning cleanup on May 18th the city has arranged for a party at Freiman Square, beginning at noon with music, munchies, etc.

Contact your neighborhood leaders or southwest neighborhood specialist Gina Kostoff (427-1122) for more information.

As I wrote before the “Middle Management” of our city water department has been “privatized”. There was very little discussion or debate regarding this matter which was rushed through council without thorough review in my opinion. The bottom line is that the private firm…EMC Inc….must maintain or improve water quality. Hopefully that will occur. If you feel your water quality is worsening in the future let me know!

Finally, I’d like to mention that I’m well aware that many citizens don’t trust any elected officials, whether on a Local, State, or National level. This is somewhat unfortunate although I’ll agree our founding fathers would have encouraged us to limit the power of government and to choose our elected leaders carefully. During the last 6 years I’ve gotten to know Fort Wayne’s local government leaders and most city department heads fairly well. I believe that all but a small fraction of these individuals has the public interest at heart. We all need to be on the alert for exceptions to this statement but I thought I’d pass on my thoughts regarding Fort Wayne’s City government structure.

Call me with questions or suggestions. Tom Hayhurst, City Councilman, 4th district, 432-8418

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Tom Hayhurst

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