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Sunday, November 28, 2021 1:00 am

Political notebook

Arp seeks to end restrictions on strip clubs

DEVAN FILCHAK and NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

Local dancers and adult entertainment supporters might get their wish – a repeal of the restrictions on strip clubs and related establishments that Fort Wayne City Council approved in 2017.

Councilman Jason Arp, R-4th, has proposed language that would partially repeal an ordinance that prohibits sexually oriented businesses from being open from midnight to 7 a.m. daily. It also states that employees cannot appear semi-nude unless separated from patrons by 6 feet, on a stage at least 18 inches off the floor and in a room no less than 600 square feet.

Local residents involved in the adult entertainment business have complained at City Council meetings that the ordinance hurts employees financially and puts them more at risk because patrons are unhappy with the required distance.

Arp's proposal would repeal the entire 2017 ordinance with the exception of the first two chapters, which are filled with definitions.

Megan Flohr, the City Council administrator, said removing the definitions would create problems within the city's zoning code regarding sexually oriented businesses.

The council approved the proposed ordinance's introduction Tuesday, with Councilman Tom Didier, R-3rd, voting in opposition. Councilmembers Sharon Tucker, D-6th; Glynn Hines, D-at large; and Arp were absent.

The possible repeal is expected to be discussed at the council's next meeting, Dec. 7.

GOP treasurer race loses contender

After ballooning to five candidates, the race for the GOP state treasurer nomination lost a contender last week.

Suzanne Jaworowski, a former official with the Trump administration, has decided to withdraw and instead filed to seek an new open seat in the Indiana House.

The Fishers woman said the newly drawn House District 32 has opened a new opportunity, and she believes a good treasurer will come from the remaining lineup.

“I feel I can make more of an impact in the House than as treasurer, which is administrative,” she said. “As a good statesman, you can make a better direct impact in policy decisions.”

Jaworowski also said the part-time House job would allow her to continue her consulting company.

She is expected to make a formal announcement this week.

Those left in the treasurer's race are Lana Keesling, Fort Wayne city clerk; Daniel Elliott, Morgan County Republican Party chairman; Pete Seat, political strategist; and Elise Nieshalla, Boone County Council president.

Dentist tapped for state board

Gov. Eric Holcomb recently made a host of appointments to various boards and commissions. Only one person was from northeast Indiana.

Matthew Kolkman of Fort Wayne will serve until November 2025 on the State Board of Dentistry. He owns Grabill Family Dentistry.

City Council shuffles schedule

The City Council announced some schedule changes last week as the end of the year approaches.

The council will not meet Tuesday, in part because it is the fifth Tuesday of the month. The council also will not meet Dec. 28 because it won't have the minimum number of members, which is five, in attendance.

The City Council still has business to do this year. A special regular meeting is set for Dec. 7 after the committee session, which is held for discussion but not passage.

At that meeting, council members will consider bringing a request to approve the Allen County Regional Water and Sewer District acquisition by Fort Wayne City Utilities.

The full agenda for the meeting will be posted to the city's website Friday.

Political Notebook wants to hear from you. Send your burning questions or tips about state and local government or politics to nkelly@jg.net, and we will attempt to get you answers.


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