The beginning of 2023 is not just the start of a new year but the beginning of a new term of office for all the local officials who were elected this last November. At our office that is Austin Knox, who, having first been elected by a party caucus to finish out the term of Richard Stevenson in 2020, has now been elected by the Wayne Township voters and is starting his first full term as Trustee. Also starting new terms are our three incumbent board members who were re-elected in November: Patricia Turner, Anthony Henry, and Bruce Stier.
The past year has been a great preparation for the new term. We have spruced up the interior of our office by tearing out old, worn carpet and installing clean and bright new flooring which will save the township many dollars in cleaning costs. And the new solar panels on our roof, installed early last summer, have meant that we have yet to have to pay an electric bill over the past nine months.
Last spring, Trustee Knox began opening our doors for neighborhood associations looking for a free venue to hold their annual meetings. The Fall Creek Neighborhood was the first to take advantage of this new venue, meeting here at our offices at 320 E Superior Street downtown Fort Wayne. The meeting was well-attended, and our roomy main conference room meant there was still room to spare.
We held two Job Fairs last year and are looking forward to making those a regular event in the coming year as helping clients find suitable employment has always been a priority for this administration. And Trustee Knox added another encouragement to work by providing fuel vouchers to eligible clients that needed it to get to a job or a medical appointment.
Our Clothing Emporium, run by Executive Secretary, Patsy Brewer, has been fully-stocked and operational since it resumed operation when the pandemic let up somewhat this last spring. And we also resumed all our social activities for the Wayne Township citizens such as our Family Fun Day, our Ham and Turkey Giveaway and our Holiday Skating Party.
Our representative payee program has continued to evolve and improve. This program assists Social Security Disability recipients with budgeting their money so they will not need to apply for township assistance. Payee Program Director Ralph Charlton took his well-deserved retirement from the Wayne Township Trustee Office this month, and the new director is Katelyn Schuck, who trained for the position by working her way up from Payee Clerk.
We awarded three Richard A. Stevenson Sr. Scholarships this year and ten Academic Achievement Awards. We will be able to do even more this coming year as several citizens donated money to the RASSS fund in honor of Trustee Stevenson who passed away this last December. Mr. Stevenson was a champion of education, a mentor and guiding light to so many of us here at the township and we will miss him.
So here at the start of 2023 it feels like we are on the cusp of bigger and better things. We look forward to keeping you up to date on all our activities here in the Waynedale News, on our website and on our Facebook page.