On the agenda for final vote this evening is the “No Vaccine Passport” resolution sponsored by Fort Wayne City Councilmen Jason Arp and Paul Ensley.
The resolution was last seen at the June 22, 2021, council meeting. When the resolution came up for discussion, a motion was made to hold for two weeks per a request from Councilman Tom Didier, who was absent. In a partisan vote, the motion was defeated, 4-3.
Discussion ensued and the resolution was then passed out of committee on June 22, 2021, with a “Do Not Pass” recommendation. The final vote on the measure was 4-3 with two councilmen absent.
- Councilman Tom Freistroffer
- Councilman Paul Ensley
- Councilman Jason Arp
Do Not Pass:
- Councilmanwoman Michelle Chambers
- Councilman Glynn Hines
- Councilman Geoff Paddock
- Councilmanwoman Sharon Tucker
- Councilman Tom Didier
- Councilman Russ Jehl
On the final vote, Councilman Arp voted with the majority to Do Not Pass, changing his vote. However, a councilperson votes in Committee has to be the same they vote on the final passage. He notified the council in writing that he was changing his vote making the final vote 5-2. This would allow him to bring the resolution back during the next Regular Session of the council, tonight, for a reconsideration vote.
Tonight, he will make a motion to vote on the resolution again. The motion has to pass with a majority vote in favor. If he does not get a majority, that’s the end of the matter and the original vote stands at 5-2.
However, if the council does pass his motion, they will then vote straight up or down with no discussion allowed. This is according to Robert’s Rules, which the council has adopted as the guidelines for their meetings.
Thus, when the resolution comes up for a final vote this evening, Arp believes it could pass. This would require all Republicans to be present and for the two councilmen, both Republicans, who missed the June 22nd meeting to vote Do Pass.
The reason for the delay between the June meeting and tonight is that there was no meeting on the 29th of June as it was the 5th Tuesday and this is the first Regular Session since the 22nd.
Whatever happens this evening, City Council Attorney Joe Bonahoom stated that tonight is the final vote this time. It cannot be brought back again.
Text of the resolution:
A Resolution of the Fort Wayne Common Council supporting no vaccine passport resolution.
WHEREAS, Allen County has led a successful campaign to vaccinate its residents against Covid-19, and as of May 24, 2021, approximately 37% of its citizens have received at least one vaccination, and;
WHEREAS, over 71% percent of state residents 60 and older are fully vaccinated against Covid-19; and this age group has had access to vaccinations since February; and
WHEREAS, all populations 12 and older are now are eligible and have access to the vaccine; and
WHEREAS, 11% of Allen County citizens may already have infection acquired immunity using reported numbers from the Allen County Department of Health; and
WHEREAS, herd immunity, which includes both vaccinated and those with infection-acquired immunity, has either been achieved or will shortly be realized;
WHEREAS, the science of the virus has shifted over the course of the pandemic, and although doctors and science professionals now have a better understanding of Covid-19 and effective treatment options than they did when the virus was first identified in the United States in 2020, there are still many differing theories about many aspects of the virus including variants and the need for booster vaccines;
WHEREAS, every adult who wants a vaccine has the right to obtain one and the ability to do so, as they are widely available and offered for free, but no vaccine should be mandated or required by law; and
WHEREAS, people have the right to refuse vaccination based on religious, medical or personal reasons, and every medical intervention requires informed consent and the right of refusal, including the Covid-19 vaccine; and
WHEREAS, the currently available Covid-19 vaccinations have not yet been fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but have been issued an Emergency Use Authorization and the long-term effects of the vaccine are still unknown; and
WHEREAS, except in certain healthcare facilities and other exceptional circumstances is it reasonable to ask someone or request that someone disclose any healthcare status, especially as it relates to employment, education, access to events, or engagement in standard commercial or recreational activity; and
WHEREAS, private health information on vaccine status should not be required by any government mandate or by any business operating places of public accommodation; and
WHEREAS, widespread adoption of Covid-19 vaccination passports, or any requirement of proof of vaccination by businesses on an allegedly voluntary basis will unduly and unnecessarily restrict the freedom of Americans and harm patient privacy; and
WHEREAS, Covid-19 vaccination passports will create a two-tiered society, where some people will have rights, and others will lose their freedom by not having the same access to services, experiences, and locations; and WHEREAS, once a Covid-19 vaccination passport system is in place, it could be manipulated to restrict freedom based on not just vaccine status, but also on the basis of protected activity (such as the exercise of free speech or religious activity), protected categories (race, ethnicity, sex, disability, etc.), or any personal decision or preference that a government or business considers acceptable; and
WHEREAS, numerous other governmental units are opposing Covid-19 vaccination passports, including the decision by the Indiana General Assembly to ban them in HEA 1405, to be codified as § IC 16-36-11-5; and
WHEREAS, the Fort Wayne Common Council desires to express its opposition to the concept of Covid-19 vaccination passports and to express its support for the rights of individuals and families living in a community to direct their own health futures.
NOW, THERFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE FORT WAYNE COMMON COUNCIL, that the Council expresses its opposition to Covid-19 vaccination passports and any other similar governmental requirements that disenfranchises local citizens of the right to make their own health care choices and move freely within society.
Furthermore, it is unreasonable, except in certain healthcare related activities and other exceptional circumstances, to require a person to disclose the status of his or her COVID-19 immunization for employment, education, access to events, or engagement in normal commercial and recreational activities. All adults should have the freedom to evaluate science and seek out appropriate medical opinions, while making decisions for themselves and their families.