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Fort Wayne Reader
During his re-election campaign four years ago, an attack ad branded Graham Richard the “Invisible Mayor.” However, over the last few weeks, the city’s outgoing chief executive has been anything but invisible. In fact, it’s been hard to escape the mayor’s beaming face over the last several weeks as he has been the subject of several retrospectives in local broadcast and print media (like the last Fort Wayne Reader, for example). However, even more significant have been Mayor Richard’s triumphant launches of perhaps the most important and potentially long-lasting initiatives of his administration.
On November 28th, Richard, along with Lt. Governor Becky Skillman and other dignitaries (pictured above), celebrated the opening of the state-of-the-art Public Safety Academy of Northeast Indiana. Located at Southtown Centre (another crown jewel in Richard’s legacy), the academy is a regional resource for the training of police, fire, homeland security and other emergency responders.
Less than 24-hours later, Richard was breaking ground at Harrison Square, a multi-million dollar public/private revitalization project that includes a new hotel, retail shops and baseball stadium in the heart of downtown. A day later, potential buyers clamored for a chance to put down deposits on the new condominiums that are also a part of Harrison Square. A week later, the mayor handed the keys to the first new homeowner in Renaissance Pointe, another public/private initiative that envisions as many as 350 new, market-rate homes in the former Hanna-Creighton neighborhood.
And this might be just the beginning. From his Six Sigma cost-saving initiatives to his Wired-and-Inspired technology initiatives to his “green” initiatives, Richard is already fielding lucrative offers to lecture on the national circuit.
Invisible Mayor? Not by a long shot.