FW City Council: Votes that Matter to You

By Nicole Pence

May 28, 2010 Updated Jun 29, 2011 at 3:46 PM EDT

A wider pool of applicants, a lawyer argument settled, and a petition to end the war in Iraq…all topics Tuesday night at the Fort Wayne City Council meeting. Council Reporter Nicole Pence has the story.

Council's shot down similar proposals before. But Tuesday night, the nine member board unanimously approved, to allow the 9-1-1 Call Center to hire dispatchers who live outside Allen County. Currently, city code only allows those living in Allen County to work in city jobs. The director of the 9-1-1 Center argues the jobs complexity makes increases turnaround and an outside pool of applicants is needed. An amendment was added to the proposal, which says dispatchers from "outside" must have at least one year of experience.

Tina Taviano/911 Call Center: "It greatens the depth of possibility. It opens the doors. The turnover rate is going to decrease because they have experience they know what the job entails. This is not CSI, this is not some of the TV programs. The complexities of the job, the responsibilities of the job are so intense."

Topic number two... Indiana’s NewsCenter first reported on a partisan argument that's cost council a lot of debate time. The argument over who should serve as the body's lawyer. After an hour of intense debate, a party-line vote, decided Joe Bonahoom will assume the role. In recent years, council had two part time attorneys. Republican president Tom Didier led the charge to change that to one and appointed Bonahoom. Democrat Tim Pape has argued his party's had no say in the matter.

Tim Pape:"I was surprised that we didn't get a sense that anything was listened to or considered in any way. (Are you going to write an ordinance to fix this Lawyer problem you think exists?) Isn't that silly of the Republicans to suggest that. We are going to vote against you five four every time but you can introduce an ordinance if you want. That would be a colossal waste of time."

Finally, members of "Fort Wayne Peace Action Coalition" brought a petition to Council. They want members to follow the lead of cities like Gary and Bloomington who have signed formal resolutions to stop the war in Iraq. They argue Fort Wayne taxpayers have spent millions on that war. It's not clear, if City Code, would even allow a federal issue like that to be voted on.

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