At the Fort Wayne City Council meeting this evening, the members of the council voted to appoint Michael A. Barranda, R At-large, a member of City Council. This appointment diverges from past appointments that seats two citizens. City Council President Russ Jehl, R-2nd stated the past appointees to the Commission have served as excellent board members, volunteering many hours and working for the benefit of the residents of Fort Wayne.
Appointing a member of the city’s legislative body sets a new precedent that the council feels is good for the public and local government. President Jehl, while acknowledging the good work on the Commission by citizens, points out that this new approach in the appointment was not done lightly. Now City Council, through its appointment of Councilman Barranda, will have input on the entire redevelopment process, not just on the voting action as the end result of what the Commission brings to Council.
“City Council believes that by having a council member on the Commission, communication will improve between the City Council, the City Administration and Redevelopment”, said Jehl. “In final deliberations at the Council table on matters of Redevelopment, now with the direct link through a Councilperson on the board, there will be more transparency, harmony, cooperation and ultimately better outcomes for the taxpayer.”
The Redevelopment Commission addresses blight, cessation of growth, and lack of development within the City by promoting private and public partnerships in redevelopment areas, serving as a catalyst to assist and assure that redevelopment occurs. It is a five-member board appointed annually, three by the Mayor and two by the City Council. The two Council appointments are Michael A. Barranda and Tom Trent.