In the end, the City Council decided to move forward on funding for the Electric Works project Tuesday night.
Not everyone was pleased, but two councilmen opposed to the deal struck very different tones.
As the voting began, Councilman Jason Arp, R-4th, took a few moments to read a prepared statement reviewing the scope and intricacies of the “heist” of public funds and denouncing the media for not telling the public the whole story.
Arp ended with what he said were two dictionary definitions:
“Laundering – is to transfer assets to an outside party to conceal its true source.
“And racketeer – one who obtains money by enterprise usually involving intimidation.
“And with that statement,” he said, “I will vote no.”
Councilmen Paul Ensley, R-1st, and Rusell Jehl, R-2nd, also voted no.
But after it became clear that the measures would pass, Jehl, who earlier had explained he was uncomfortable with the size of the $10 million grant from the Legacy Fund and the 10-year abatement on property taxes the project would receive, decided to make another brief statement.
“Although we might disagree on the amount of public investment that's appropriate here,” Jehl said, “as it looks like it's going to go forward, I just want to say to the developers, congratulations, welcome to Fort Wayne, and I wish you resounding success.”