FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — On Monday, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry exercised his veto power for the first time since 2020.
Fort Wayne City Council recently decided to impose term limits on appointments the mayor makes to City Boards.
When asked whether or not Henry agreed with the decision before the ordinance was approved, his stance was simple.
“Moving it [Term Limits] into the executive branch, that would be like Congress telling the president who he can appoint to what and for how long,” Henry said. “I would say go back and study separation of power.”
In the veto message to council members, Henry said, “The bill proposed by City Council restricts my ability to appoint qualified people to serve our community by setting arbitrary limits on their terms of service. Thus, I must veto this ordinance as it limits me from discharging the executive functions I was elected to perform.”
In an email from the mayor’s office, WANE 15 was told that such action is “very rare,” and the office included a list of prior vetoes.
- 2008: Veto to establish Fire Merit Commission is overridden
- 2014: Veto to eliminate non-public safety unions is overridden
- 2014: Veto to eliminate requirement of police union membership is overridden
- End of 2016/Beginning of 2017: Veto to amend retired firefighter insurance (the lowest deductible) is sustained
- 2018: Pocket veto regarding pay to play is overridden
- 2018: Veto regarding pay to play amendments is overridden
- 2019: Pocket veto regarding panhandling by city employees is overridden
- 2020: Veto involving the structure of the Legacy Joint Funding Committee is sustained
Notice that some of the items on the list were overridden.
The veto is not yet put into effect until city council has a chance to vote on it.
With at least six votes against the veto, it would be overridden, but if council cannot get at least six votes the veto will be sustained.
The ordinance was originally passed through city council with five votes for and three against.
Councilman Russ Jehl was absent from the meeting.
Read the full veto message from the mayor:
According to city code, the vote to override or sustain has to happen at the next regular session on July 25.