City Council Could See Big Changes

By Maureen Mespell
By Rachel Martin

November 8, 2011 Updated Oct 21, 2013 at 11:50 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- Big changes could be coming for city council based on Tuesday elections. Republicans gain more seats, and there was an upset in the 2nd District race, leaving no women on council.

It was an upset for Democratic Incumbent Karen Goldner, 2nd District, who lost to Republican Challenger Russ Jehl 48 to 52 percent. Goldner said she thinks it’s “too bad” that there will be no women represented.

“That’s just sort of the way it goes. And I think council will be a very very different group next year than it has been. There’s been a lot of changes with two members who weren’t running [for re-election] and then me, but I’m sure it’ll be a great council and they’ll work to get things done,” Goldner said.

Goldner said she doesn’t think those changes will mean much for the city, but it might be less exciting.

“I guess that mean Council will be less interesting to watch…in a good way,” Goldner laughed.

Now Republicans dominate City Council by occupying six out of the nine seats. Republican John Crawford replaced a Democrat by winning a seat for Council At-Large.

“Feels good. You don’t often get a second act in politics so I’m going to try and do even better this time,” Crawford said.

Crawford served on City Council for years, but did not get re-elected last term because of his push for the now-successful smoking ban in Fort Wayne. Many people opposed the smoking ban, but Crawford thinks most has been forgotten.

“I could tell at the polls today because I stood at one poll for a long time and only two people hissed at me. Where as four years ago, 10 or 20 people hissed at me so I was feeling a little good,” Crawford chuckled.

Geoff Paddock is the Executive Director for Headwaters Park. He won a seat on City Council for the 5th District.—his first time running.

“I’m very pleased. Apparently the voters heard the message and I’ve very delighted by the vote tonight,” Paddock said.

He shared some of the ideas that he believed won him the election.
“I wanted to send out a message of being a strong advocate for public/private partnerships like Headwaters Park that can bring development to our community and create jobs at little expense to tax payers.” Paddock said.

Paddock added that he wanted to continue to work on the fiscal stewardship—choosing the best way to spend tax payer dollars—by helping to continue city services. He hopes the Council will continue show bi-partisanship on the issues.

“I look forward to stretching my hand out to the opposition who are the majority and let them know that I’m a member of the minority party that wants to work with them,” Paddock said. “I think it’s important to show bi-partisanship, civility to one another and continue to work together to do what’s best for the city of Fort Wayne, and I have every reason to believe that new council members, both Democrat and Republican, feel the same way.”

The newly elected City Council will take office Jan. 1.

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