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Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Subject To Scrutiny For Lobbying Efforts

Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is in a political tug-of-war between state and local officials over its plans for lobbying.

Northeast Indiana officials are raising eyebrows over Greater Fort Wayne Inc.’s lobbying agenda, which includes advocacy for income and sales tax increases.

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is granted appropriations from the Fort Wayne City Council and Allen County Council for its work, and both entities are voicing concern that the organization may be using taxpayer funds to lobby for the increases.

18 Fort Wayne and Allen County Council members and Indiana state legislators signed a letter to Greater Fort Wayne Inc., which District 2 Councilman Russ Jehl says hopes to clarify the organization’s intentions.

“The fundamental question really is: who is in control of economic development and tax policy," said Jehl. "Is it elected officials or is it unofficial groups like GFW?”

None of the 18 politicians who signed the letter were Democrats.

Jehl says he reached out to Democratic councilmen Geoff Paddock and Glynn Hines yesterday morning to join what he calls a good governance effort, but as of early Tuesday afternoon, he says he had heard back from one and had yet to hear back from the other.

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