When city officials called upon the public to name their new government center in Fort Wayne, the public responded overwhelmingly in selecting a former mayor. That would normally seem an ideal choice for officials . . . unless the former mayor’s name is Harry Baals (pronounced “Balls”). Officials said that they have decided not to let the voters pick after all to avoid a sign reading “the Harry Baals Government Center.”
Harry Baals received 882 votes on the city’s website, http://www.feedbackfortwayne.org. According to the article below, that is more than triple that of its nearest competitor: Eugene Johnson Memorial Center. Johnson was the properties manager for the Allen County Public Library — not quite as inspiring as Harry Baals.
Baals was mayor in 1934 and elected for three successive terms and then returned later for a fourth. He was one of the most successful mayors in the history of the city, including bringing an airfield to the town.
In my view, the city fathers should have the . . . guts . . . to yield to the public. Just consider the traffic of people who come just to take a picture of the sign.
The Schweddy Balls family has long faced this very problem:
Source: Journal Gazette