Face off

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The stories behind the chairmen of two political action committees as different as their views on Fishers’ government

An investment banker by trade, some call Wayne Crane a fiscally-minded guy.

He calls himself both an administrative nightmare and an administrative guru.

Crane, a long-time Fishers resident and precinct committeeman, is the chairman of Citizens to Reorganize Fishers, the political action committee supporting question one on the ballot, which aims to merge Fall Creek Township with the Town of Fishers, resulting in a council-manager government with a council-appointed mayor.

“I started off with, by-golly if we’re going to have a mayor, I want to be involved in electing him,” Crane said.

A regular around the Hamilton County GOP club, Crane said members of the group felt there needed to be a counter to long-standing PAC City Yes. He said Fall Creek Township trustee Jeff Hern asked him to do the job.

The group came into play this August, and it now boasts approximately 40 volunteers structured like a business.

“You’ve got to be diligent and organized,” he said.

Like his PAC and his day job, Crane looks at town governance business-like: an individual’s tax dollars are investments in the community

Overall, Citizens to Reorganize Fishers looks to structure the government much like that of the Hamilton Southeastern Schools District, Crane said.  A board is elected, and it selects its own presidents. From there, they hire a professional to manage the system – the superintendent.

And that is where business ends and personal feelings begin.

Crane’s son, born in 1993, didn’t start speaking until the age of four and was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. He was enrolled in an early childhood development program at New Britton Elementary, and this year, he graduated from Fishers High School in the top ten percent of his class. He received a card from his fourth grade teacher, congratulating him.

 “This town did this because of the way it’s presently governed,” Crane said. “This town did this because it lets its school system manage under the same type of system. And that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.”

Doug Allman became involved with City Yes in 2009.

He’s lived in Fall Creek Township for 27 years and has fathered two kids who went through all levels of the local school system.

In his time with the PAC, Allman, along with current Town Councilor Renee Cox, won a seat with the Fall Creek Township Advisory Board after seeing a planning and zoning referendum in the township pass, stagnate and fade away under a “home rule” by the Town of Fishers.

During the day, Allman works as an independent sales representative for a distribution company based in Dayton, Ohio. Stepping into his role as City Yes chairman, it’s part of his duty to sell the idea of electing a mayor over reorganization to voters in Fishers.

In 2010, Allman saw the City Yes PAC collect 1,700 verified signatures to get a referendum on becoming a second-class city on the ballot, making the vote for a full-fledged mayor a possibility – a key issue for City Yes.

He sees a greater level of democratic involvement as part of the overall issue in Fishers government.

“The reason I’m involved in this type of thing is because I want better access to the government as far as from a democracy standpoint,” Allman said.

While he’s served with City Yes for three years and the Fall Creek Township Advisory Board for two, Allman only became chairman of the group a few short weeks ago.

Now Allman, a republican, is the point person for the PAC, handling speaking engagements and other media opportunities.

Allman said City Yes is the target of a “whispering campaign” posing the group and its ideals as a “democratic plot to gain power.” City Yes touts itself as being bipartisan.

“It’s too bad we’re that partisan,” Allman said. “I believe you do what’s right and you do what’s good for the people.”

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