Thursday, September 22, 2005

Guest Column: Stacey Smith

Unlike what usually qualifies for the N-S's guest column, today's offering is quite good -- so good that Leo Morris praised it in his own editorial on the same page.
When I look over the long list of what Fort Wayne has, I have considered what we don’t have. A sense of direction, followed by committed action supported by the community seems to be the thing I see missing the most. Do we want to be a high-quality place to live, and are we committed to moving away from our manufacturing roots?

If so, why did we put a bonus on “advanced manufacturing”? Isn’t that the same thing? We say we want to retain our college students, but we really haven’t given them anything to do or a place to work after they complete college. Are we committed to creating a progressive, strong downtown? Why then do we continue to approve housing and commercial development outside the city center? After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a community plan, why did only 2,800 people respond to the surveys in their water bills? Does anyone really remember what “Plan-It Allen” is?

What I consistently see lacking most in Fort Wayne is a sense of pride that is built on the future instead of the past. We’re the second-largest city in Indiana, but I’m not sure that will be the case after the Interstate 69 extension is completed.

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