The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, December 08, 2021 3:20 pm

Another unpredictable council meeting

DEVAN FILCHAK | The Journal Gazette

For many split votes, Fort Wayne City Council members stick with their political parties.

That was not the case at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, despite three 5-4 votes.

Most of the two-hour meeting was used to discuss the possible repeal of the 2017 ordinance that places restrictions on sexually oriented businesses, such as strip clubs. Ultimately, the repeal failed since it only received four affirming votes.

Councilman Jason Arp, R-4th, was joined by most of the council’s Democrats — Sharon Tucker, D-6th; Glynn Hines, D-at large; and Michelle Chambers D-at large — in his effort to repeal the ordinance.

His fellow Republican members, however, voted against the repeal with a lone Democrat. Paul Ensley, R-1st; Tom Didier, R-3rd; Russ Jehl, R-2nd; Tom Freistroffer, R-at large; and Geoff Paddock, D-5th, voted against the repeal.

A special meeting was held to make a decision on the City Utilities’ acquisition of the Allen County Regional Water and Sewer District after Jehl suggested tabling the request after it failed in committee. Jehl had said he would only want to bring the request back to council if the sewer district board’s representation had changed to being county dominant.

But when it came time to bring the issue back to council Tuesday, Jehl voted against it, as did Arp, Ensley and Tucker. The discussion was reopened with five votes from two Republicans and three Democrats.

For the third split vote combination of the night, the acquisition failed. The vote was similar to the split vote to reopen the discussion, except Hines voted in opposition with Arp, Ensley, Tucker and Jehl.

The meeting was an example of how City Council meetings are rarely predictable.



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