Home > Political Animal > But what have you done for me lately…?

But what have you done for me lately…?

By PA

Fort Wayne Reader

2008-12-09


Late last year, the outgoing Richard administration left the incoming new guard a sort of welcoming gift — the High Performance Government Network, a nonprofit corporation created by the former mayor himself, designed to help city government work more efficiently. The three year, $285,000 contract slipped through without city council review in the last week of mayor Richard’s term; since the contract will cost the city under $100,000 per year ($95,000), council approval wasn’t needed.

But Fort Wayne City Council recently revisited the issue after a State Board of Accounts audit in late September claimed that council should have been consulted, and added that the corporation was in violation of the city’s ethics code. While Richard himself does not profit from HPGN’s operations, the network employs several former Richard staffers. The State Board of Accounts recommended the city stop paying HPGN until the council approves (or cancels) the contract.

HPGN’s management techniques are supposed to be able to save the city between $2 million and $3 million, according to the former mayor. Now city council now wants to see the numbers. Alan Candioto, human resources director for the city and HPGN overseer, praised the group and said it has put in around 50 hours of work per month with the city so far in 2008. So that’s $95,000 per year, divided by 600 hours worth of work on the contract in 2008…

Well, Fort Wayne City Council wants to see the numbers.

Ball parking

Parking downtown has always been a major concern and one of the biggest perceived impediments to downtown development. People going downtown sometimes can’t find a space right in front of their destination and are forced to park as much as an entire city block away and walk the distance. And the cost! An hour might cost you a whole quarter on the meters, and some of the lots might charge you $4 just for an afternoon!

But with Parkview Field set to open in April, the issue of parking seems to have grown more serious. In early December city leaders released the results of a study by parking consultant group Chris Walker on how to deal with downtown parking. The steering committee wants to have a plan for Parkview Field ready by mid-February. Other options they’re looking at include a new city department to serve as sort of an overseer on all things downtown parking related, with a commission to set rates.

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