Just a thought as a taxpayer on projects advanced by local officials. One way I judge such projects -- and I presume many others do this, too -- is a personal calculus: What is this likely to do for me, and what will it cost me?
The downtown baseball-plus project is not likely to cost me very much directly -- the taxes it uses will mostly be tax money already taken from me that will be used for something else if it isn't used for this. The benefit is tangible, an entertainment complex that I might want to use and that could help downtown even if I never go there. Even if it fails, it's hard to argue that downtown will be that much worse off than it is now.
Fort Wayne Community Schools' massive building rehabilitation project, on the other hand, will be money out of my pocket that wouldn't be taken without the project -- and a substantial increase over what I'm paying now. And the benefits are intangible. I have no children in the school system, so I have to take it on faith that improving the buildings will improve education to the greater good of the community and, somehow, me.
From that standpoint alone, the baseball project is a much better bet for me than the school one: less cost to me, greater potential benefit. There are plenty of other reasons to be for or against both projects, of course, and there is a thin line between considering the personal and being selfish. But those pushing such projects need to be aware that there are real people out here who at least begin their deliberations with what it means to them.