Prior to serving as Trustee in 1999, I conversed with many individuals regarding their thoughts of what was lacking or could be improved at the Wayne Township Trustee’s Office. I was very concerned about how the township office fit in with all of the other resources, agencies, churches and governmental programs available for those in need. By knowing the wealth of information of resources available and utilizing the great advantage in the wisdom of our forefather’s design of township government, I knew that great things could be accomplished.
With the tremendous experience and knowledge of a supervisory staff, second to none in the state, we worked together to develop a mission statement for the township. The full version can be found on any of our literature, as well as, the website, but for the purposes of this article, I’d like to just quote the last part of it: “…the trustee’s office is dedicated to forming strong working relationships with community resources that share its advocacy of providing the knowledge, the means, and above all else, the commitment of enriching the lives of the less fortunate citizens of this township.” This somewhat typically wordy quote means that the Wayne Township Trustee’s Office cannot solve everyone’s problems but if there is any way we can benefit the community by way of feasible fiscal responsibility, we will be there to do our part.
Our plan from the beginning was, and continues to be, to bring together agencies and community leaders who share the same vision and passion for helping others to work collectively towards real solutions that work. This method of leadership and problem solving has been extremely successful because it gathers a wide variety of perspectives and ideas which allow us to use our resources creatively and collectively. The beauty and effectiveness of this plan is the remarkable ability of the township trustee office to adapt to the needs of the community. No other form of government can do this without a great deal of red tape and on behalf of anyone that has ever been there, when someone is in need, the help they need is now!
Part of this partnership building develops out of information sharing. There are often people in serious need that do not even know how the township can assist them. I wanted to make sure that the hard working citizens who have paid into the system for many years with their tax dollars were aware of the sources and assistance available to them, and even more importantly, able to access it when needed. Our staff also keeps current on the evolving programs that many social service and faith-based organizations in our area have developed by inviting them in to do presentations at our Friday all staff meeting. Very little goes on in the Fort Wayne area that the staff of the Wayne Township Trustee Office is not aware or informed of that would benefit you or someone you know in time of need. I’m pleased to say that our strategy for information sharing has been absolutely outstanding.
We will continue sharing information with other social service agencies and growing with this great community in order to return the dedication and service to those citizens that have always done their part if and when a time of need arises. The Wayne Township Trustee’s Office has come a long way in becoming a visible and approachable organization and one that actively seeks solutions and produces results. I look forward to continuing this tradition for as long as you permit me to do so.
Matthew P. Schomburg
Wayne Township Trustee
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