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Fort Wayne City Council Advances Competitive Bidding Amendment

Zach Bernard/WBOI News

Fort Wayne City Council advanced a measure Tuesday night that could limit how campaign contributions affect the bidding process for development projects.

The proposal, according to authors John Crawford and Jason Arp, would cap contributions from bidders to candidates at $2,000 per year. Citizens can still donate how much money they want to a candidate, but if a business or developer donates more than that $2,000 in a year, they can’t bid on any major projects.

Crawford says this wasn’t meant to target Mayor Tom Henry, any council members or donors, adding there has been no evidence of wrongdoing to this point. Rather, he says it's to close a loophole that could be seen as suspicious by constituents that may already have a low trust in government.

“The passage of this ordinance would greatly reduce any questions that large contributions are affecting the awarding of contracts,” said Crawford.

The move passed its initial discussion on a 6-3 vote. Final vote is expected at next week’s City Council meeting, which will be Tuesday at 5:30 at Citizens Square.

Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered. He currently hosts Morning Edition.
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