Mayoral Candidates Know How They’d Use Light Lease Money

By Max Resnik

January 14, 2011 Updated Jan 14, 2011 at 7:30 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – How the $75 million in Light Lease money will be used is creating a debate between mayoral candidates.

Currently, Mayor Tom Henry would like the public’s input on how to spend the money. Giving the city a facelift and bettering education are just some of the ideas that have been expressed. The ideas are wide ranging depending on whom you talk to, everyone has their opinion.

GOP Mayoral Candidates include Allen County Councilwoman Paula Hughes, financial adviser Eric Doden and City Councilwoman Liz Brown. One of these candidates will emerge out of the May primary to represent the GOP in the November election.

Hughes says she is the only fiscal conservative in the race. She believes that the Light Lease money needs to be saved and used to pay off debt that the city has. She compares having this huge sum of money to winning the lottery or receiving an inheritance. She says most would begin by paying off mortgages and credit card debt before even thinking about buying a new car. She says debt must be paid before the city gets a facelift.

Brown also advocates for saving the money. She doesn’t believe that Mayor Henry’s new Light Lease Task Force is the proper step for the city. She says that the group is planning to spend money when it is obvious debt should be paid off first.

Doden says some of the light lease money should be spent. He says he has a plan to work with bankers and private equity investors to use some of the Light Lease money to finance projects to improve the city. He says improving the city and creating a stronger tax base will attract businesses and create more jobs.

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