Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Fans of Harry Baals Getting Screwed

Boy, these folks in Fort Wayne are real killjoys.
Despite garnering far more support in an online poll than the thicket of other suggestions, residents shouldn’t expect Fort Wayne’s new government center to be named after the city’s longest tenured mayor.

Deputy Mayor Beth Malloy said naming 200 E. Berry St. the Harry Baals Government Center was “probably not” going to happen.

“We love Fort Wayne, too,” she said. “We’re not going to make any decisions that look bad.”

The name has received 882 votes on the city’s website, as of Monday afternoon – more than triple that of its nearest competitor: Eugene Johnson Memorial Center.

Johnson was the properties manager for the Allen County Public Library while it occupied the building. The city’s online poll allows anyone to submit names for the building and then vote on the suggestions.

Baals – pronounced “balls” by the then-mayor but “bales” by his descendents – became the Republican nominee for mayor in 1934 and was elected for three successive terms. He returned to politics in 1951 by winning a fourth term but died in office in May 1954.
So they could still name the building after a guy named Johnson, but not Baals?

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