The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, September 14, 2021 10:00 pm

Council, mayor trade letters in vaccination incentives squabble

DEVAN FILCHAK | The Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne City Council members’ political affiliations were clear tonight as they discussed a letter Republican councilmen publicly sent to the mayor.

The five Republican council members – Jason Arp, 4th; Paul Ensley, 1st; Russ Jehl, 2nd; Tom Dider, 3rd; and Tom Freistroffer, at-large – signed the letter sent Friday outlining concerns about how Henry enacted a mask mandate in city buildings and promised $200 incentive checks for vaccinated city employees who report their status. Council members asked where the incentive money is coming from.

The mayor then released a letter of his own in response less than two hours before the council meeting.

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 such as for healthy life choices. 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.

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