Wednesday, February 12, 2003
Stepping into larger issues than what usually faces the city, the White Salmon City Council will consider a resolution against war in Iraq at its Wednesday, Feb. 19 meeting.
Council member Tim Stone has sponsored a resolution that calls for the city to go on record as opposed to a unilateral war with Iraq.
An excerpt from the proposed resolution reads: "War with Iraq will have enormous moral, economic, and political costs to the United States, including the possibility of further inflaming anti-U.S. feelings in the Middle East and the broader Islamic world and increasing support for groups dedicated to terrorism ... a pre-emptive strike ... will violate our commitments under the United Nations charter and go against established international law."
At the Feb. 5 council meeting, Stone said he planned to place the resolution on the Feb. 19 agenda.
"I intend to bring a resolution before the council of White Salmon and ask for a vote," Stone said.
Council member Susan Gookin asked whether it was appropriate for the city of White Salmon to take action on a major national issue.
Stone responded that "a long list of cities" have passed similar resolutions.
"I believe $200 billion could be better spent on education programs, housing, jobs, and the like," Stone said.
Specifically, the resolution would call on the Untied States to work through the United Nations: "The City Council ... opposes a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, but supports instead a genuinely multi-lateral diplomatic approach to the Iraq situation, sanctioned and directed by the United Nations," read an excerpt.
A number cities across the nation have passed resolutions opposing war with Iraq, including major cities such as Seattle, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.
If approved by the council, the resolution would direct Mayor Roger Holen to communicate White Salmon's opposition to war to President George W. Bush, other members of his cabinet, and the U.S. Congress.
Holen said he believes this issue is not appropriate for the City Council to address.
"I'm concerned because we elect federal representatives to deal with matters of national security and to prepare for the common defense," Holen explained. "That's the mechanism the Constitution intended for these matters to be dealt with. Private citizens have the right to make their wishes known to their senators and representatives. I find it very difficult as a city to speak for the majority of people."
Holen said he would reserve further comment until the evening of the council meeting.
"We'll see what the pleasure of the City Council is," he said.
The meeting will get under way at 6 p.m. on Feb. 19 at the Park Center.