FORT WAYNE — Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry officially filed to run for a fourth term Jan. 22. Afterward, he held a news conference at Allen County Democratic Party Headquarters, where he reviewed his track record as mayor and outlined his plans for the future.
If re-elected, Henry said his administration will focus on public safety, neighborhood improvements, good stewardship of taxpayer money and a continuation of economic prosperity.
In 2019, the city plans to hire 25 more police officers and 18 additional firefighters, according to Henry. He also plans to continue working with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health and partner agencies to fight the opioid epidemic through proactive rehabilitation and prevention programs.
If re-elected, Henry pledged to commit nearly $30 million a year in neighborhood infrastructure improvement. Since he was first elected mayor, the city has invested nearly $130 million in streets, sidewalks and alleys, he said.
Henry noted several downtown redevelopment projects that have broken ground during his tenure, including The Landing and Promenade Park on the riverfront, which are scheduled to be completed this summer. Henry said a three-day celebration is scheduled for Promenade Park’s opening June 21.
The mayor said he wants to continue the momentum of the city’s revitalized downtown.
“If you don’t have a thriving downtown, one that excites people, the probability of you staying in that community or investing in that community is pretty low,” he said.
Henry noted that the number of people living downtown has ballooned since he took office – from about 700 to more than 2,000.
“Almost every apartment complex that’s being built downtown is being asked to be rented before the apartments are even started,” he said.
He said he hopes to continue building a community that welcomes investment, citing Sweetwater’s recent announcement that the company plans to add 1,000 jobs.
“Employers not only want to invest in our community; they want to stay in our community and grow in our community,” he said.
At the news conference, Henry recognized three other Democrats who have filed to run: Katie Zuber for city clerk; Darryl Esterline for City Council, 1st District; and Michelle Chambers, City Council, at-large.