Monday, December 31, 2007

Richard In Review

Graham Richard's 8 years in office: A job review
He could've been a better public figure, but says he changed city's attitude
Link (NS)

"He said his greatest accomplishment comes in the form of an attitude adjustment for the city, like a moody teenager who grows up.

Take, for example, Renaissance Pointe, the neighborhood renewal program on the city’s southeast side, where three local builders are filling vacant lots with new homes and remodeling some of the old ones.
"Richard calls it a can-do attitude, and while he said its best example is in the rejuvenation of Southtown Mall, he can point to it in other projects he initiated, such as Harrison Square, the $125 million-to-$160 million downtown revitalization project."
"But not everyone was a fan; some of Richard’s initiatives weren’t always lauded by city residents. Richard came under fire when he decided to reorganize the police department as well as the city staff that works with neighborhoods, converting both to quadrant systems. And the jury’s still out on Harrison Square, an initiative that at one time had 70 percent of city residents against it.

Five months after Richard took office, Allen County Republican Chair Steve Shine delivered a speech to his party’s faithful. “If someone were to make a movie about the Richard administration’s efforts thus far, the title would have to be ‘Clueless,’” Shine said.

But those thoughts have changed. “He has gone from ‘Clueless’ to ‘Got it,’” Shine said Thursday, applauding Richard for his environmental work with the sewer system, the introduction of broadband and the revitalization of downtown Fort Wayne."