FINDING SOLUTIONS TO DIFFERENCES: HATE AND DIVISION MUST STOP – Message From The Mayor

I recently joined mayors from across the country to sign the Mayors’ Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry. The effort is led by the Anti-Defamation League and U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The Mayors’ Compact has 10 components:

*Expressly rejecting extremism, white supremacy and all forms of bigotry

*Denouncing all acts of hate wherever they occur

*Ensuring public safety while protecting free speech and other basic constitutional rights

*Calling for fully-restored law enforcement and civil rights investigations of domestic terrorism and hate crimes

*Elevating and prioritizing anti-bias and anti-hate programs in our nation’s schools

*Supporting targeted communities and bringing together civic and community leaders to build trust

*Celebrating diversity, promoting inclusivity and challenging bias

*Promoting law enforcement training on responding to and reporting hate incidents, hate crimes and domestic terrorism

*Encouraging residents in their communities to report hate incidents and crimes, including using hotlines and online tools

*Maintaining civil rights enforcement and strengthening hate crime laws when necessary

There is no place for the hate and division we’re experiencing as a nation and it must stop. We have to be committed to finding solutions to differences and promote the fundamental principles of justice and equality. I’m proud to stand with other mayors as we speak out against hate, extremism and bigotry and want our respective communities to know we value all human life.

I also want to take this opportunity to update you on the future of bridge repair and maintenance projects in the City of Fort Wayne.

New Haven Mayor Terry McDonald and I recently announced that beginning in 2018 New Haven and Fort Wayne will assume direct bridge repair and maintenance responsibilities for our respective cities.

The new arrangement between Fort Wayne and New Haven will provide both communities with more flexibility and direction on when and how to invest in the bridge maintenance projects and initiatives that will have the most benefit to taxpayers.

The interlocal agreement that currently exists between Allen County and several municipalities expires in October. Under that agreement, Fort Wayne and New Haven pay Allen County each year for bridge repairs and maintenance. In 2017, Fort Wayne paid $1.35 million and New Haven provided $70,000. The new request from Allen County to Fort Wayne for 2018 is approximately $2.7 million and almost $470,000 for New Haven, both considerable increases.

Thriving cities must have an infrastructure system that works effectively for residents and businesses. Preserving our bridges will be an important component of the overall strategy to make needed investments in our transportation network. A strong commitment to enhancing local infrastructure assists us in our efforts to be a point of destination city for economic development opportunities, job growth and unique quality of life amenities.

There are 95 bridges in Fort Wayne city limits and 20 bridges in New Haven. Future projects will be determined in the coming months.

Tom Henry - Fort Wayne Mayor

A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column.

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Tom Henry - Fort Wayne Mayor

A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer