Youngstown City Council delayed a vote on a cash incentive for each employee who gets fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

This will give elected leaders time to discuss other options including a vaccine mandate.

Council members say almost everything is on the table for consideration as the city looks to help keep employees, and the public they serve safe.

After an outcry by folks in Youngstown, city council members postponed a vote on bonuses until the next meeting.

The proposed legislation called for giving $1,000 to 700 city employees who get fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine.

People in the community spoke out, saying the $700,000 in America Rescue Plan tax dollars could be better spent..

 "It's a good conversation starter, but overall the public was not thrilled about it. that's why the hesitation. I said we need to see what makes the most sense so we can stop the spread," said Mike Ray Youngstown Councilman, and acting President of the Board.

Councilwomen Samantha Turner and Anita Davis sponsored the legislation as a way to motivate city employees to get vaccinated.
Davis tells WFMJ News, with less than 43 percent of people in Youngstown vaccinated the incentive idea is still on the table.

She also wants the mask mandates extended outdoors to city employees when they are contact with people.

Davis emphasized, "We have people who have been hospitalized, who have died. We have to do something to make sure our employees are not at risk, and don't put the public at risk."

Mayor Jamael Tito-Brown tells us COVID-19 related hospitalizations, ICU ventilator admissions, and time off from work are driving companies like Delta, and municipalities, to look at passing on some of the increased costs.
Delta Airlines is charging a $200 a month health insurance fee to employees enrolled in their health care program, who do not get vaccinated.
The company explained the fee is due to higher COVID related health care costs of people who are not fully vaccinated.
Some other airlines and companies have mandated a vaccine after the FDA gave full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Youngstown's mayor explained that a ten percent surcharge for COVID-related issues have caused a spike in health care costs of around $300,000 in the past few months.

"I want them to not have to pay the penalty for those who have not decided to get vaccinated," emphasized Mayor Tito-Brown.
Mayor Tito-Brown says he will consider a vaccine mandate after Moderna like Pfizer has full FDA approval.