The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, September 14, 2021 4:51 pm

Mayor responds to council criticism

DEVAN FILCHAK | The Journal Gazette

Mayor Tom Henry responded today to a letter Republican City Council members wrote and released last week that criticized the mayor’s mask mandate and vaccination incentives.

The Republicans showed concern in the letter about how Henry enacted a mask mandate in city buildings and promised $200 incentive checks for vaccinated city employees who report their statuses. They asked where the incentive money is coming from.

Henry explained in his letter that the voluntary vaccination incentive will come from the Group Health Insurance fund, which is where funding for other incentives like for health life choice and smoking cessation. It is not a fund that requires council-approved appropriations.

Henry said public health "is not and should not” be a political matter.

“I find it disingenuous for all of you to assert that offering this wellness benefit has injected partisan politics into this debate,” Henry wrote.

“Some of you have ridiculed public health measures since the beginning, even though those measures, including the wearing of face coverings, social distancing and the need for vaccinations, were originally set forth by the previous federal administration, the previous/current state administration and the county administration, all of which are affiliated with your own party.”

City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. today.

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