Home > Political Animal > Greater Fort Wayne, 5th Tuesday… and a free tote bag
Greater Fort Wayne, 5th Tuesday… and a free tote bag
By Jim Sack
Fort Wayne Reader
Paul Ensley has a chip on his shoulder. It is obvious reading the reports of his multiple run ins with the local law. He refuses to identify himself, then he spews his title at officers in an obvious attempt to play the power card, then he threatens officers with retaliation.
Mr. Ensley is an immature, angry young man who has yet to figure out he is a public servant who has taken an oath to uphold the law, not flaunt it. Being a councilman means greater responsibility and greater expectations to lead by example.
And, he has yet to learn that once he crosses from being a private citizen to holding office his moral conduct is fair game.
So far, the police have given him a big fat pass that would not have been accorded most others in our community found loitering in school parking lots, weaving on the highways or otherwise acting obstreperous.
The police have enough already to do to protect us without having to deal with an egotistically immature councilman who thinks he is above the law.
But there is more. Mr. Ensley, it seems, is also disrespectful of his fellow elected officials. He blows off mayoral briefings. He has stood-up his fellow council members. In short, over a very short period of time he has shown contempt for his fellow officials, the police, and for the public in general. Let us hope some Republican father figure steps into the void to provide the mature guidance he obviously lacks.
And a Free Tote Bag
I recently received an email solicitation from Governor Pence for his reelection. Some wealthy supporter of the controversial governor would match my contribution four-to-one if I could send a check by midnight. Perhaps the governor’s new style of political begging includes a tote bag. It makes one wonder whether the governor, who has cost the state in reputation and treasure, will offer coffee mugs for the next round of campaign fund raising.
Council President Russ Jehl has announced a Fifth Tuesday Forum to discuss the Regional Cities initiative. RC is a creation of the legislature to provide $42 million in seed money to stimulate a few hundred million in local projects, such as the Riverfront or an artist colony. Problem is, the program was so hastily concocted in Indianapolis and so ill-communicated locally by Greater Fort Wayne, Inc., that a thousand questions have arisen as to whether it is a gift horse or a Trojan horse. What we do know is Greater Fort Wayne Inc. wants local government to impose a few hundred million in new taxes on you to fund their project list. Mr. Jehl is very skeptical. He has noted that Greater Fort Wayne has done precious little to bring city council into the loop. Instead, GFW has treated council as a given. More than a bit irked, Mr. Jehl called the Fifth Tuesday for March 29th, 2016, starting at 5:30pm. And Jehl is not alone. He was but one of 17 local elected officials who signed a letter complaining they were left in the dark by GFW’s announcement. Most of the signees will be sitting together on the 29th when GFW has their chance to clarify the muddle they have created. And, with that in mind, our Republican council took the highly unusual step of withholding part of the annual funding we pay to GFW to conduct economic development. Council is angry specifically with Eric Doden, the president of GFW, for heavy-handed pressure tactics to bully local elected officials.
Representative Todd Young is a Republican candidate to replace Senator Coats. He will be on the May ballot, but he shouldn’t be. His campaign seemed to have stumbled when his team failed to collect the prerequisite number of signatures to qualify for the statewide ballot. But, in what can only be called a blatant manipulation of the rules the Indiana Election Commission voted 2 (Republicans) to 2 (Democrats) to allow Congressman Young on the ballot. Rules are made to be broken, it seems. Sort of reminds one of hanging chads in Florida. The loser is Congressman Marlin Stutzman who would have been unopposed in the Republican primary. Young is the candidate of the establishment; Stutzman isn’t. The Indiana Democratic Party also opposed Young’s certification and may do so again, in court, should he win the primary. The rules say 500 signatures are required in each congressional district to qualify for the ballot. Numerous counts, including one by the Indianapolis Star, put Young’s count just under 500, but rules are made to be broken.
One can only guess our local State House delegation will find some way to oppose the city annexation of urban developments in St. Joe Township. While bringing new residents into the city will provide them with city services, such as fire and police, leaf pick up and more, at no extra cost, and Republican rolls will be greatly bolstered by the annexation, you have to expect Representatives Martin Carbaugh or Liz Brown to find some way to cut off their own noses to spite their faces. Republicans attempted the same years ago when Aboite fat-cats tried to establish the city of West Hamilton to avoid annexation. It failed. Annexation of St. Joe will have next to no adverse effects on home owners, will bring them significant public services and will benefit the city with census counts that are used to apportion federal funds. It is a good thing for those to be annexed, and for the city, but a campaign issue for some sour Republican.