Changes to Fort Wayne fire merit board aimed at mending relationships

Fort Wayne's city council approved the changes during Tuesday's meeting.

Posted: Oct 8, 2019 9:43 PM
Updated: Oct 9, 2019 9:26 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - The way members of the Fort Wayne Fire Merit Commission are appointed is changing.

Fort Wayne's city council approved the changes during Tuesday's meeting.

Now the commission will be made up of two people appointed by the mayor, two people appointed by the firefighters union.

The mayor's and firefighters' appointments have to be from different political parties.

RELATED: DISCIPLINE IN FORT WAYNE FIRE DEPARTMENT CAUSING TENSION BETWEEN ADMINISTRATION, FIREFIGHTERS

City council will appoint a fifth member to the commission.

A city council member will serve as a non-voting sixth member.

Previously, the mayor appointed three people and firefighters selected two.

The change comes as the tension between firefighters and the fire administration becomes more visible.

RELATED: FORT WAYNE ASSISTANT FIRE CHIEF STEPS DOWN AFTER FORMAL COMPLAINT FILED

Fort Wayne fire chief Eric Lahey and Fort Wayne Professional Firefighters president Jeremy Bush said they hope this change will help mend that relationship.

"Our advocacy was for a fair and balanced process. I think you have a majority by any governmental entity, it is not necessarily a good thing," said Bush.

"In an effort to move forward, we were willing to accept any change the city council felt was necessary," said Lahey.

City council will have 30 days to make its appointments.

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