Wayne Curry is a Republican candidate for mayor. He sat down on 16 Sunday Morning’s “Meet the candidates” series to explain why he should be elected mayor in a city where a Republican hasn’t had the top job in roughly 40 years.
Curry is a contractor who works in roofing, siding and remodeling in the area. He’s served on the Northeast Neighborhood Council; the Community Oriented Policing Leadership Council; even the Daisy Hall Neighborhoods Association.
“I believe that one of the biggest assets we have in our community is the people of this community as I’ve served in all of these groups over the years. We have a lot of folks that donate a lot of their time and helping our community become better. All these groups, nobody gets paid for any of these groups I’ve served on since the 90’s.
Everybody volunteers their time. We’ve built a park at the corner of Cedar and Arthur Street for the kids. The Robinson Community Learning Center, there’s a lot of volunteering going on there to help with the youth of the neighborhood. Even when I was Chairman of the Civic Alliance Economic Development Panel for City Plan, they were all volunteers too.
So there are a lot of committed people in making our community better. The biggest sow we have is the people. The real estate is relatively inexpensive. We have a lot of positives here. We’ve got the University of Notre Dame that brings in $1 billion of industry a year, of money spent in our community here.”
“To start with, we need jobs, economic development. We need to become more competitive as a city. We have a lot of ordinances that people want to propose that actually are thick volumes of papers that businesses have to do to come in to actually get any kind of a break. So we are sending the wrong message out there.
The first thing I’d like to do with someone who would like to locate here is to get them to the table first before we start putting demands on them. The primary thing is to do economic gardening, which would be to focus on the businesses that currently are in our community and see what they need to survive and grow, because most of our job growth would come from those.”
“There’s a program called Focus on Four in Tampa, Florida it’s reduced crime by 56 percent in seven years. It focused on the four day to day big problems which include burglary, robbery, and auto theft. By focusing on those crimes, the violent crime rate gets reduced because most of the people doing the smaller crimes commit violent crimes as well.”
“There’s no incumbent, so everybody is looking for someone new, and everyone is new. No one has been elected mayor yet so I believe that that gives us an even shot.”
“Being a business owner for 22 years gives me a lot of experience that they don’t have. Also, there’s my involvement in the community and being Chairman of the Economic Panel where I actually interviewed business owners and leaders of the community for years. I know what South Bend has done right, what they’ve done wrong, and I know how to guide it forward.”
So far Curry is the first Republican and the third mayoral candidate we have spoken to.
Be sure to catch State Rep. Ryan Dvorak and County Council member Mike Hamann in coming weeks on 16 Sunday Morning.