Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dealing with Harry Baals

Ft. Wayne, Indiana, is looking for a name for its government center. And they've opened it up to suggestions via the city's feedback Web page.

The top suggestion so far? Name it after the city's longest-serving mayor, Harry Baals.
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. His accomplishments include elevating the railroads in town and negotiating the contract with the Army to establish Baer Field as an air base.
The city's Deputy Mayor, Beth Malloy, says the building won't be named after the former mayor. Apparently, she doesn't care for Harry Baals.

A lot of people, though, like the idea of Harry Baals on a building.

I don't live in Ft. Wayne, so I don't have a say in the matter. I could go to the feedback site and make suggestions. But I won't. And I could encourage you to go to the feedback site and make suggestions. But I won't. The residents of Ft. Wayne should decide for themselves how they feel about Harry Baals.

The voting, by the way, ends this week. And the 10 finalists from the voting will be given to the mayor. I wonder how his staff will handle Harry Baals. Or the other finalists.

If they do select the former mayor's name, there will be some residents that won't like it, I'm sure. It may be that many residents of Ft. Wayne will just have to learn how to live with Harry Baals.

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