Citizens Voice Concerns, Ideas at "Mayor's Night In"

By Rachel Martin

March 18, 2013 Updated Mar 18, 2013 at 11:26 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – if you had ten minutes with Mayor Tom Henry, what would you talk about? Citizens of Fort Wayne were given that chance Monday at "Mayor's Night In."

“From time to time we open up my office to the citizens of Fort Wayne to let them know that the Mayor and my staff are accessible, approachable, and we really do want to know what problems, concerns, and sometimes compliments that the citizens have,” said Mayor Henry. “It’s just a way of reaching out the community.”

Mayor Henry began the outreach event when he took office in 2008. Each citizen is given 10 minutes to meet with the mayor face to face in his office.

Janel Eckert was the first visitor and expressed her concerns to the mayor about Agenda 21, a plan developed by the United Nations that addresses environmental, economic, cultural and sociopolitical sustainability. Eckert says the goal of the plan is to make countries take their resources, including land and property, and give it to the less fortunate.

“I can be charitable, but when it’s done through force is where the whole problem comes,” said Eckert. “So I just wanted to make sure Agenda 21 was on the [Mayor’s] radar. I wanted to voice my opinion and make sure that the truth was known.”

Another concern brought up Monday night by Jeff Cameron and his family, was preserving and revamping Fort Wayne’s historical museums. Cameron says many museums lose their appeal after one visit, and with no new exhibits coming in often there’s no reason to return.

“They’re leaving,” said Cameron. “The Lincoln Museum, WWII Museum, Diehm Museum, they're being auctioned off to different collectors or communities when we could keep the stuff here if we had a place to put it.”

Cameron suggested to the Mayor creating the “Northeast Indiana Natural History Museum” where every museum could combine their exhibits and ‘leftover’ artifacts and display them under one roof.

“We have the African American Museum here, we have the Macedonian Museum. We had the Lincoln Museum. We have other museums in our community that are going to close their doors,” he said. “The Fire Museum, they are very strong down there where they are, but they've got a lot of stuff in storage that they could probably exhibit instead of keeping it in a locker somewhere.”

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