FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Fort Wayne's mayor is responding to criticism he received last week from five members of city council.
Five of the city's nine councilmembers say they're disappointed with Mayor Tom Henry's plan to give employees a one-time payment of $200 for disclosing their COVID-19 vaccination status, saying it's politicizing the pandemic.
Henry says a letter they wrote accusing him of politicizing the pandemic felt "disingenuous."
This all stems from Henry's Sept. 2 press conference when he announced the $200 payments for city employees who reveal their COVID-19 vaccine status.
Councilmembers say in the letter that Henry didn't tell them about the benefit or where the money would come from, but says the funds will come from the group health insurance fund.
Henry adds that this isn't different than a number of city-offered wellness benefits.
Those include benefits for annual health screenings, healthy lifestyle choices and more.
The letter was signed by Republican Councilmen Jason Arp, Tom Didier, Paul Ensley, Tom Freistroffer, and Russell Jehl.
It says city council has not allocated any funds for employee bonuses.
The four Democrats on the council did not sign the letter.
You can view Mayor Henry's full response below.