The debate and discussion went on for months. Numbers were thrown out, counter-proposals offered. Principled stands were taken and campaigns were mounted.
Was it the $13.5 million in new taxes – including a controversial income tax hike – or Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry’s proposal to spend $75,000 moving the statue of Gen. “Mad” Anthony Wayne from Freimann Square to the Courthouse Green?
It was both, actually.
One might think that raising taxes nearly $14 million – not to mention $3.5 million in new City Utilities fees – would cause more controversy than moving a statue of a guy on a horse. One would be wrong.
Several City Councilmen, spared from having to condemn the proposal to move the statue by a last-second compromise, said they heard more complaints from citizens about the statue plan than they did over the tax hike, despite it being four-tenths of one percent the cost of the tax and fee increases.
“Now maybe my email will have some room in it,” said Tom Smith, R-1st. “I’m sure glad that’s off the table.”
Now the real question becomes whether those same people who did not want tax dollars used to move the statue will, ahem, pony up the donations needed to keep it where it is?