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Council members calling on Mayor to work together, asked to attend next meeting

City Council calling on Mayor to work together
City Council calling on Mayor to work together(Fort Wayne's NBC)
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 10:39 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - Tuesday night the Fort Wayne City Council addressed the city’s trash collection problems with Red River urging the city administration to step up.

The council met Tuesday night to introduce a resolution, supported by Mayor Tom Henry, that would change the rules they feel put Fort Wayne in this mess.

Right now, state law forces cities to choose companies that offer the lowest bids; that’s how Fort Wayne first connected with Red River. The resolution council introduced would ask the state to allow cities to request proposals from different companies and then be allowed to choose to contract with the one that they believe is the best fit.

Councilman Russ Jehl says this would not affect our current contract with Red River, but it would prevent this from happening in other cities in the future.

“The state would be wise to look at that again for other contracts that come forward,” he said. “You need to look at more than just price, you need to look at competence.”

After the meeting during public discussion, Councilman Jehl suggested the council draft up a letter to the city administration asking Mayor Henry to attend their next meeting. The rest of the council supported his idea.

“I think it would do the Mayor a lot of good to come out and say, I am getting a new garbage provider, I am doing things to fix this,” Jehl said. “Our ratepayers will give us the benefit of the doubt if we are just honest with them.”

Jehl says people want to see the council and the administration working together to get a way out of this situation.

Many customers have also asked, since the city saved so much money going with Red River’s low bid, will they see a refund because service has suffered? Jehl says to his knowledge there is no money left to give.

“There’s no money to be given back to the ratepayers,” he said. “It’s inexplicable and that’s why there’s such a lack of confidence right now.”

Council will vote on that resolution next week and Jehl is hoping the Mayor will be there as well.

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