In-Depth Interviews: City Council Candidates Share Number One Issue

By Maureen Mespell
By Rachel Martin

October 13, 2011 Updated Oct 19, 2011 at 11:13 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – We asked Fort Wayne City Council Candidates what the number one issue was that they were standing for in the upcoming election and what they would do with the Legacy Task Force money.

The Fort Wayne Area League of Women’s Voters sponsored a Meet and Greet Forum for the Candidate for City Council At-Large at IPFW Wednesday night. The “Meet and Greet” was held “Debate-style” where the candidates were aligned on stage and audience members asked specific candidates questions.

There are only three seats available in this year’s city election. Nancy McCammon-Hansen, with the Women’s League of Voters, said the meet and greet allows voters the be educated about what city council does and get to know the candidates better by asking them questions.

“Hopefully folks will learn something about how the city council functions and also where the candidates stand on some of the issues,” said McCammon-Hansen.

Candidates include John Shoaff (D) Incumbent, Marty Bender (R) Incumbent, Gordon Anthony (D), George Guido (D), John Crawford (R), Tom Freistroffer (R), and Alex Avery (Libertarian).

Some of the questions the audience asked were why Indiana’s civic involvement is so much lower than in other states. The candidates responded by saying if they were elected they would get more involved in the community and inform people about voting and public meetings through personal involvement as well as social networks.

The community also wanted to know what they would do to “skinny up” the city’s budget. The candidates gave general answers and the incumbents said if there was more they could do, they would’ve made more cuts in Tuesday night’s budget meeting.

Another concern was how city council plans to keep city pools open or perhaps re-open currently closed pools. Incumbent John Shoaff said he would be interested in re-opening the pool at Swinney Park, while Libertarian candidate, Alex Avery, said the city shouldn’t be involved and it should be the private sector's responsibility.

Indiana’s NewsCenter asked these two questions: What is the main issue candidates plan to address if elected to city council, and what would they do with the Legacy Task Force money?

Click on the videos below to hear what each had to say.

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