Commissioners Step Up Efforts To Try And Rescue Homeland Security Deal

By Maureen Mespell
By Jeff Neumeyer

February 8, 2012 Updated Feb 8, 2012 at 6:14 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- The Allen County Commissioners plan to try and salvage a joint city-county homeland security department.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and Commissioner Nelson Peters had a "sit down" Tuesday to discuss the matter, but no resolution was reached.

The commissioners, however, don't want to throw in the towel yet.

Homeland Security Director Bernie Beier's future may be at stake in the dispute.

Last week, Mayor Henry sent a letter to the commissioners, saying he wanted to end a six-year agreement where the city and county split Beier's salary and benefits.

The mayor believes it was a worthy experiment that no longer serves the taxpayers, and that it's the county's duty to fund the position alone.

The commissioners say they will draft a letter in return, asking the mayor, more specifically, why he wants to kill the deal.

Nelson Peters/(R) Allen County Commissioner: " And also ask for our ability to sit down with them and see maybe if we can't work through some of these issues, because right now we don't really understand what any of the issues are, from their perspective, for dissolving the agreement."

One dispute was cleared up on Thursday.

City officials suggested that the county failed to pay its portion of Beier's salary last year.

But that turned out to be wrong.

The county produced a copy of its $26,603 payment from July of last year, as proof it had met its obligation in the sharing of Beier’s salary.

The city acknowledged the payment slipped past its accountants.

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