Two Republicans running to represent Fort Wayne's City Council District 3

Mike Thomas is challenging councilman Tom Didier in the Republican Primary.

Posted: Mar 22, 2019 10:23 PM
Updated: Mar 22, 2019 10:35 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Republican voters in northwest Fort Wayne will have a choice on who they want to represent them on city council.

Tom Didier is seeking a fifth term representing the third district.

"I'm passionate about what I'm doing and I should continue to keep doing it," said Didier.

Mike Thomas is hoping to beat him in the May primary.

"I was frustrated watching city council raise taxes and utility rates," Thomas said.

In 2017, the city council raised income taxes to pay for riverfront development, sidewalks and alleys.

Didier said that tax means the city has less debt.

"We wanted to take a more proactive approach of paying as we go. It is easier to pay as you go if you have a source funding," said Didier.

Thomas said he knows the city needs to spend money fix infrastructure, such as water mains.

But he said there has to be a different way to pay for the improvements.

"I think the city brings in plenty of money to solve these problems. I think the focus has just been too much on downtown development," said Thomas.

The investment started about 10 years ago with building Parkview Field.

At the time the decision was controversial, but one councilman Didier supported to help launch the growth of downtown.

"The city was going to go backwards. I wanted it to go forward because I have three children and I wanted the city to grow and I wanted my children to stay here," said Didier.

And to keep people here, they need to stay safe.

The Fort Wayne Police Department said the city's crime rate was down last year ... but the violent crime was up.

Didier said his main concern is tackling the drug issue in his district.

That was one of the main reasons for bringing the city's chronic commercial problem property ordinance to the table.

"That ordinance is working. I've talked to the captain that is involved in that and he told me it has helped," said Didier.

Thomas said he feels that more police officers need to be on the streets and working with partners while doing more community policing.

"Where the officers are more known in the neighborhoods, they have a better opportunity to connect with residents," said Thomas.

The deadline to register to vote in the primary is April 9.

Primary Day is May 7.

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