Archive for March, 2011

Hughes Backs Merit-Shop Pay

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Protects Taxpayers from Government Excesses

Paula Hughes continued to stand on the side of the taxpayer by pledging to back merit-shop pay for City of Fort Wayne public works projects. According to various studies, this pledge could save Fort Wayne taxpayers anywhere from 10-20% per project. The use of merit-shop pay increases competition and competitive bids for taxpayer-funded projects.

“In my administration, I will fight for the taxpayers,” Paula Hughes said. “There is no excuse for keeping project costs high when using tax dollars. My administration will do more with less.”

Allen County and Fort Wayne Community Schools use merit-shop pay almost exclusively on their taxpayer-funded building projects. Conversely, the Henry administration has only opted for merit-shop pay once during his term as Mayor, adding millions to city construction projects.

Using the conservative cost-saving estimate, the City could have saved at least $657,600 on the Renaissance Square project, alone. Those dollars could have been used to pay down the city’s growing debt, to prevent tax increases and give businesses the ability to create more jobs.

“Everywhere I go, Fort Wayne citizens tell me government needs to put its focus on protecting taxpayers and cutting spending in a responsible way,” Hughes stated. “Taxpayers must come first and they will when I am Mayor of Fort Wayne.”

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Pearls and Power Book Review

Monday, March 21st, 2011

The Dream Manager

By Matthew Kelly

Published by Beacon Publishing, 2007

You own a janitorial company. Did you imagine that allowing your employee who cleans and mops the floors to pick his own mop would make a difference in productivity?

I mean a mop is a mop. What does it matter what kind of mop it is. Yet allowing an employee to be involved in the process; imagine the impact. While this may seem a small issue to some, it was a big deal to this employee.

In this same company, employees viewed working for a janitorial company as a paycheck, a dead end job. Turnover was over 400% a year. Talk about productivity issues, let alone the impact to the bottom line. Yet, the leadership of this company tackled the problem with a unique approach. They did not focus on the bottom line. They did not focus on increasing the number of customers. They did not focus on cutting expenses like so many companies do today and cutting expenses usually means cutting jobs. If you have not been personally impacted by this, you probably know someone who has been. Instead the leadership of this company focused on the dreams of their employees. Did they want to go to college? What did they want for their children? They viewed their employees and their dreams as the real assets of the company. And guess what, turnover was cut in half in one year.

The Dream Manager is a must read for those that are in a leadership position. Leadership goes beyond setting strategic direction, defining operational initiatives, and establishing profit objectives. It is about inspiring people to achieve; to achieve what they want to achieve and to help them get there. If you truly want to lead, change your thinking to inspiring – rather than leading, and the goals and profits will follow.

Review written by Carolyn Brody.

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Use Light Lease to Reduce Debt

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Only Mayoral Candidate Not Spending, Lending “Light Lease” Money

Paula Hughes unveiled her plan to cut city debt with the use of the I&M “Light Lease” settlement money, if the deal is approved by the State of Indiana.

“Everywhere I go, people are telling me that they are paying off debts today to create a better tomorrow for their family and they want the government to do the same,” Paula Hughes said in front of the city-county parking garage on Wednesday. “I am the only candidate focused on using these funds to preserve our community and not allow our taxes to rise.”

According to the last comprehensive report issued by the City Controller’s office, Fort Wayne’s long-term debt is now a staggering $405 million. In fact, that number increased by $78.4 million in 2009 alone.

“We have a choice as a community,” Hughes said. “I want to pay down debt and not squander this opportunity to leave a lasting impact for Fort Wayne. My opponents either want to spend it or stuff it under the mattress. In the race for Mayor, that is the difference.”

The use of light lease dollars to pay down debt is part of the Hughes proposal, “Making YOUR Money Count; Cash-based Budgeting.” Hughes will implement Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball approach to paying down city debt so Fort Wayne taxpayers can see the benefits of clearing the books much like they do in their private lives.

Among the first debts Hughes will tackle is the City-County parking garage. In 2001, the City of Fort Wayne bonded $1.7 million over a 20-year period. This was the equivalent of a family making $40,000 a year taking out a 20-year loan for a $540 television.

Currently, the City still owes $1.2 million on the garage. Conversely, Allen County Council recently acted on a proposal to pay off its portion of the parking garage in full. This action saves Allen County taxpayers over $342,000.

“County Council saw the need to get debt off the books and save taxpayers in the long-run,” Hughes said. “They don’t get enough credit for doing the right thing. That is what fiscal conservatism is all about.”

“In late 2010, Paula Hughes proposed paying off the parking garage,” Council President Darren Vogt said. “After our analysis, it was a no-brainer. Getting this debt off the books and freeing up the future revenue for other uses is a real win for taxpayers. We need a mayor that has the taxpayers’ best interest at heart.”

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