EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Evansville City Council voted down a resolution to oppose COVID-19 vaccination mandates.
The resolution was proposed by Fifth Ward council member Justin Elpers and drew out supporters who filled the meeting room.
Tensions ran high in the two-hour meeting which ultimately resulted in a 6 to 3 vote to deny the resolution.
City council members saying they voted ‘no’ because under state law, the city can’t require a vaccine passport.
“Where is common sense anymore? Where has it gone? We’re asking you to help us. We’re asking you to help,” said an Evansville resident who spoke out in favor of the resolution.
Residents from college students to grandparents showed up Monday to take a position on where they stand with COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
“We pay tax dollars, we have helped elect every single one of you, we look to you to help us.”
Councilman Justin Elpers introduced the resolution after a group of mothers reached out to him saying they want to be able to make health decisions for their families.
“I am the mom who reached out to Councilman Elpers, and I thank you for responding and for your courage in taking on this issue.”
“We need public officials who are going to stand for freedom, and thank you Mr. Elpers for the resolution, we all hope you vote in favor.”
Others stressed that the virus has taken its toll and continues to do so.
“The Delta variant, we’ve got 106 cases in Indiana right now. I realize a lot of this is political theater and I hope the council treats it as such.”
At one point, emotions erupted when one council member spoke about how vaccines have historically helped humanity.
“I realize that some of you all are passionate and that is great, but as our attorney has said and our state has said this is not something we can control anyway. There are a few people from the second ward who are here, a majority of the second ward that I’ve heard of are against this resolution,” said council member Missy Mosby.
“That’s why it’s a resolution, we can vote on it and it’s in favor of something. People are worried that we’re mandating or we’re pushing something, but no it’s a recommendation…a strong recommendation,” said councilman Justin Elpers.
Due to the concern many parents brought forth Monday evening, council President Ron Beane said that they don’t have the authority to issue any mandates for schools and that the school board follows the requirements of the state.