When the residents of Logansport elected me as their new mayor in November 2011, it was truly an honor.
Our city was battling back from a devastating loss of 1,500 jobs in five years, a recession that wasn’t letting up on the household income of our residents, a divided fire protection commitment in our county and an overall sense of loss in our community.
I knew, as well as those I appointed and hired to be a part of our administration knew, most of the challenges we were facing when we took office. I made sure all of us knew, and are currently reminded, of the campaign chant that placed me in this humble seat as our city’s mayor: Positive change to do what is necessary to enhance business opportunities.
As I announced a change in the hiring policies for our police department, we uncovered 11 potential police officers could not pass a newly instituted polygraph test, and some who simply refused to submit to the polygraph test because of criminal incidents that had occurred in their not too distant past.
With my focus set on building key relationships to pump progress in our city, distractions arose that took unnecessary space in headlines and too much talk at area restaurants.
As we encouraged the proposal of a brand new $4 million multiplex theater investment with up to four full-time jobs and 28 part-time jobs, other community leaders did not share the same principles on use of incentive money. I respect their decision, however I believe this necessary quality-of-life driven development would not have occurred with a lesser incentive package.
Just as we began our proactive approach to tearing down unsafe houses and buildings in our city, we had to react to three buildings that crumbled to our surprise.
And the biggest surprise of all is the resistance (no matter how small and insignificant) to the $566 million privately funded power plant project that is set to save Logansport Municipal Utilities customers’ money and, at the very least, double our work force at the plant.
Those in my administration are reminded often, but I wanted to take this opportunity to remind our residents that I promised positive change to enhance business opportunities in Logansport and I am committed to that promise, no matter what the obstacles.
Distractions will undoubtedly come our way in the next two years and eight months, but one thing that will lead us, regardless of party affiliation or personal support of our efforts, is the undying passion I have to make Logansport a better city with more opportunities that our residents deserve.