Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Post Vote Press

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Voters get views of candidates at forum
Henry and Kelty show differences in the event, sponsored by YLNI

"In one of their first appearances together, Republican mayoral candidate Matt Kelty and his Democratic opponent Tom Henry showed their differences at a candidate forum sponsored by the Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana."

"Both mayoral candidates were asked about projects that Mayor Graham Richard’s administration has started, including Harrison Square; Renaissance Pointe, an urban revitalization project; and Southtown Centre, a revived shopping center; and whether the next administration would see them through to completion.

Henry said he supports the projects Richard has started and will follow them through because each is a distinct opportunity. He then went through each project and talked about its benefits to the city. For example, he said Harrison Square was a great asset because it will help downtown, and Renaissance Pointe is improving a neighborhood where “for years many would not walk through at night.”

Answering the same question, Kelty said he’s made no secret that he has concerns about Harrison Square, but his administration would execute any contracts the previous administration has signed.

“(Harrison Square) can not be left to lie by itself,” Kelty said, adding he would pursue market-driven development around the project to make sure it’s a catalyst for downtown. Kelty then discussed government’s role in the city, but did not address any of Richard’s other projects.

Kelty responded first to the second question: How would he sell or promote Fort Wayne to attract high-paying jobs? While Harrison Square will bring some jobs to “hot dog vendors” and some hotel jobs, Kelty said, the project will not bring the jobs to the city that it desires."

Young Voters Demand Answers; could make big impact on elections

"The Allen County Election Board can't pinpoint the exact numbers of young people, aged 18 to 30 who’ve voted in past elections. But, officials along with people at the forum believe the "young" vote will have a big impact on November elections. "

"Brian Kelly/YLNI: "YLNI has a membership of over one-thousand, 20's and 40 somethings. And, this election has been very close for many different races. We see that as an opportunity to inform this demographic about the different candidates. We'll have a chance to actually swing some of these elections.""

"Almost all Fort Wayne candidates participated, answering questions about racism, government responsibility, and addressing controversial topics like the Harrison Square project and the city's smoking ban."

"Also, YLNI leaders made a fabulous resource for voters; a 24-page brochure outlines each candidate in all city-wide races and what issues they think are important."

YLNI Candidate Forum
Link (Fort Wayne Left)