FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne City Council was able to move on with a resolution from Councilman Russ Jehl regarding Red Rivers fines at Tuesday’s meeting.

Jehl had to attend the meeting via Zoom. Despite the 5:30 p.m. start time, he wasn’t connected via Zoom until 6:10 p.m., and wasn’t visible on camera until 6:16 p.m. At 6:42 p.m., Jehl could finally be heard in the meeting.

With those in attendance laughing from time to time, as some could not hear Jehl, who had amendments to a particular resolution list that other councilmembers did not understand. The lack of clarity even led councilmembers Sharon Tucker, Michelle Chambers, and Paul Ensley to voice concerns and show opposition to the resolution’s passage.

All the confusion led Council President Jason Arp to make an announcement, “There will be no meeting on July 5th,” with a sarcastic finish, “So maybe that will give us a little time to recover from this.”

Many had been expecting Jehl to bring forward the proposed plan he discussed in a press conference Monday. His resolution was instead found in the agenda as R-22-06-28, which was introduced at the meeting.

“A Resolution requiring the City of Fort Wayne through the Solid Waste Department to report to Council before the final payment is processed and delivered to Red River Waste Solutions.”

R-22-06-28

Jehl said the resolution will follow the normal three-week pattern of introduction, discussion, and passage. He expected continued discussion on the resolution July 12.

When boiled down, the resolution would make the solid waste department do three major things:

  1. Prevent solid waste from paying Red River without publically disclosing the number of pickup misses.
  2. Request the law department to recommend and explain the fine for Red River’s last month of service.
  3. Require solid waste to recommend to City Council what it should do with the fine money.

Jehl was hopeful this resolution ultimately could lead to the Red River fine money ending up in the pockets of the “longsuffering ratepayer.”