Archive for September, 2011

Councilman Vogt Sets the Record Straight

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Written by Allen County Council President Darren Vogt

I couldn’t help but respond to the misleading attack ads running about my former county council colleague Paula Hughes. Tom Henry is distorting the facts about someone who has been a consistent defender of the taxpayer and leader in attracting jobs to our community.

Despite what you may be seeing on your TV and in your mailbox, here’s the truth about Paula Hughes’s efforts on county council. Paula Hughes and I worked together to LOWER the county’s property tax levy for the 2007 budget. We succeeded and saved the taxpayers $100,000. In 2009, Mayor Henry championed the wheel tax but Paula and I voted against it. We fought the political pressure and voted against tax increases in an economic downturn. In 2010, Paula proposed a property tax rebate to Allen County residents. Paula Hughes clearly has a record of defending the taxpayer and Mayor Henry knows it.

Now, Mayor Henry is trying to attack Paula for failing to support business. This is laughable. Paula and I have been working within government to make it more responsive to the needs of employers. In fact, we streamlined the abatement process and the county’s work was the model for abatement reform in the City of Fort Wayne.

It’s clear we have made Allen County an easier place to do business and that Allen County government is in far better fiscal shape than it was 10 years ago. In fact, we’re seeing employers look for locations in Allen County but not within the City of Fort Wayne. Is that a coincidence? No. Mayor Henry’s attacks are simply shameful.

Tom Henry also knows that people are mad about the city’s wasteful spending, Fort Wayne’s now half-a-billion dollar debt, and the fact that the business climate hasn’t improved inside the city limits. Mayor Henry’s record of leadership is the problem and now he’s trying to change the subject.

I didn’t think he would stoop to running misleading attack ads so early in the campaign but I guess we’re learning more about the real Tom Henry now. Fort Wayne voters don’t be fooled by the hundreds of thousand of dollars Tom Henry is spending for his attempted bait-and-switch. We trusted Paula Hughes with the county council gavel and elected her President of Allen County Council twice for good reason. She is a principled leader who put the best interest of taxpayers first.

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Stutzman Endorses Hughes

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Congressman Marlin Stutzman officially endorses Paula Hughes for Mayor of Fort Wayne. Congressman Stutzman stressed the need for debt reduction in both the Federal and municipal government as the rationale for his endorsement.

“Our nation is facing a debt crisis and I’m fighting the Washington elites that want to raise your taxes instead of making the tough decisions to eliminate wasteful spending,” Stutzman said. “Sadly, things are just as bad in Fort Wayne. The city’s debt now exceeds half-a-billion dollars and we need proven leadership to get its fiscal house in order.”

As a member of Allen County Council, Paula Hughes took the county from an $8 million debt to a $22 million surplus.

“Paula Hughes has a track record of reform and I trust her to cut wasteful spending, reduce the city’s half-a-billion debt, and get Fort Wayne working again.” Stutzman said. “Join me in supporting Paula Hughes for Mayor so I can have an ally as we work to improve our nation and region.”

Paula Hughes has also received the endorsement of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Allen County Right to Life PAC, NRA, Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries, Congressman Mike Pence, and Lt. Governor Becky Skillman.

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Arm Yourself with the Truth

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Mayor Henry is attempting to mislead the public about Paula Hughes record. Here are the facts.

Tom Henry claims that Paula Hughes has been increasing your taxes for 10 years.

The truth: Paula Hughes only served eight years on county council.

Paula actually has a record of protecting the taxpayer.

  • In the 2007 budget, Hughes actually lowered the proposed tax levy and saved property owners $100,000. The News-Sentinel dubbed it “an unprecedented move.”[1]
  • In 2009, Hughes stood up to Mayor Henry’s request for more of your money and voted against the wheel tax.[2]
  • In 2010, Paula Hughes proposed a property tax rebate because county council has been good stewards of your dollars and she believed that Allen County should send it back to the property owners. [3]

Now, Mayor Henry claims that Paula Hughes wanted to wait on cutting the city’s red tape in May of 2011. This is wildly inaccurate. Paula Hughes made her proposals for cutting the city’s bureaucracy a full year earlier. See the video for yourself. [4]

[1] Cindy Larson, “Property Tax Levy is $100K Under Limit,” The News-Sentinel, 8/16/06

[2] “Taxes to go up after Controversial Vote,” WANE, 6/18/09; Kevin Leininger, “Wheel Tax Has City, County At Odds: Plan To Raise Fees For Bridge Maintenance May Falter Over Disagreement On How Money Will Be Spent,” The News-Sentinel, 5/13/09

[3] Kevin Leininger, “Column: What to do with $27M County Surplus,” The News-Sentinel, 3/2/10

[4] Paula Hughes, “Taking Care of Business,”, 4/19/10

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