Is A Kinder, Gentler City Council Coming Soon?

By Jeff Neumeyer

November 11, 2011 Updated Nov 11, 2011 at 7:14 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- "Can't we all just get along."

It's a phrase that some observers say applies to the conduct of Fort Wayne City Council the past several months.

One newly elected member hopes some fresh blood can set a new tone of cooperation on the fiscal body.

Council is losing three competent leaders, two of whom didn't even seek re-election.

But the replacements figure to usher in more peace and tranquility.

Republicans Dr. John Crawford and Russell Jehl will join Democrat Geoff Paddock as the new faces on council.

Crawford and Paddock take over for Council Woman At Large Liz Brown and 5th District Democrat Tim Pape.

They are lawyers by trade, who rarely shy away from a good debate.

Neighborhood leader and council observer Jim Sack characterizes Brown and Pape as the chief antagonists on the nine-member panel.

Geoff Paddock says citizens he talked to during the campaign clamored for a new approach.

Geoff Paddock/(D) 5th District Council Elect: " I heard this from literally dozens of people, stop the bickering, bring back civility, we want to see more bipartisanship. We don't want to see Fort Wayne City Government disintegrate to the level that we've seen in Washington D.C."

There’s no suggestion that Liz Brown and Tim Pape aren’t doing a good job.

Debate and disagreement are natural byproducts of the policy making process.

But look for Tuesday night meetings after the first of the year to calm down a bit, at least until new passions reach a boiling point.

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