Bring the Community into Balance
A community that is out of balance feels a little uncomfortable, doesn’t it? I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at first. There are so many good things about Fishers that we are lucky to enjoy. Then why does something feel wrong? I concluded that Fishers is lop-sided. Huge decisions are being made on residents’ behalf that we weren’t a part of. The pace of change is so fast that we can’t keep up with it all. Investments and attention are wholly focused on a tight, two-mile square area of our city. What about the other 35 miles of Fishers neighborhoods, roads, underutilized buildings and areas that could be improved?
I am committed to shining a light on the aspects of Fishers that are out of whack and unchecked. I will introduce action steps to be a collaborative counter point so that we can find a comfortable balance for all of us. A community that achieves balance will be ready for the future.
Create a Sense of Community
Fishers used to be a town, and then it became a city. Now, it should become a community. A community is a place where people from all walks of life share a connection. To be connected to each other and our collective home, Fishers residents should be invited to participate and contribute meaningfully to decisions and concerns that affect us all. For a long time, Fishers decision-makers have missed opportunities to learn from residents and be guided by our opinions. We haven’t been provided with information about what’s happening around us. We haven’t been invited to participate meaningfully or asked what we think. This has created an disconnected city.
We can change this. I will help bridge city leaders with residents so that we can exchange ideas and concerns. I will help get understandable data to residents and open up a channel of communication that works best for you.
Foster Responsible Growth
No city wants to be old-fashioned or frozen in time. A community must evolve, change and grow. But, in recent years, Fishers’ growth has been solely defined by new, large buildings in the downtown Nickel Plate District. These buildings have been erected very rapidly and many of those complete have not activated the community in the way we were promised. This is concerning for many reasons, not the least of which is because millions of dollars are invested by the city and given away as tax reductions.
The business of Fishers should be conducted in the open, so that residents can engage on the issues that matter to them and be a part of the decisions the City Council makes that affect their families, they businesses and their lives.
Local businesses need to be given a fair shot when it comes to opportunities to be part of the city’s growth, not just big corporations.
Imagine what Fishers could be if its growth was thoughtfully managed, not frantically executed. Imagine growth that enhances Fishers for everyone, not just a few who receive special benefits. Imagine new buildings that are constructed in Fishers that do not destroy and displace but works alongside trees and greenspace, locally owned small businesses and our city’s heritage. This is the Fishers that I see – a Fishers that can flourish with a new approach, and a Fishers we can all be proud of.
Recapture the Spirit of Fishers
The spirit of a community is created by the people who live there. Students, families, retirees, young adults, faith leaders, business owners, employees, non-profits and many others must collaborate with city staff and elected officials. Together, we can turn a place to live into a place to love. A place that everyone feels a part of and proud of.
Fishers has lacked a community spirit since we became a city. It is time to remove the barriers to collaboration and engagement and allow spirit and creativity to shine. It is only with the freedom to create, a genuine welcome to try new ideas and an opportunity for everyone to contribute that our city’s spirit will come to life. Choosing a community to build our homes, families and lives is deeply personal to each of us. Whatever brought each of us here, the result is a community of diverse, dynamic residents that deserves to be heard and respected.
Build a Future We Can Believe In
The world is changing around us, and many U.S. municipalities have been forever altered by unexpected events. Financial downturns, natural disasters, addictions, violence and other emergencies have caused grave impact. Fishers won’t always have the blessings of today, we won’t be this lucky. We need to prepare for the future, see the big picture and identify the long-term effects of decisions that are being made today.
Planning for the future may require a pause in today’s flurry of activity in order to plant seeds that may not sprout for years. Short-term spending may have to be reconsidered for long-term gains. Data and best practices can help us plan wisely for the future, for the well-being of residents that will call Fishers home for decades.