By Al Benson Jr.
Over the past few years I have attended quite a few town council meetings in the town in Louisiana where I live. Once I even ran for the town council. I didn’t win but it was an interesting experience. One thing that bothers me, though, is how few people turn out for town council meetings. There have been times when only two or three others besides myself attended the meetings. In other words, almost no one in town really knows what is going on until after some ordinance has been passed and they read about it in the weekly paper here. Then if they want to gripe it’s too late. The damage has been done.
I should make it clear at this point that I have no problem with the town council where I live. The Mayor and the people on the council are all honest folks and have, I believe, the best interests of the town’s residents at heart. But down the road that might not always be the case—and a recent situation in Tucson, Arizona is a prime example.
It seems that on February 20, 2013 the City Council of Tucson passed an ordinance, resolution 22006, that basically leaves it up to the military to make the decisions for the City of Tucson.
Section 1 of the resolution states: “That the City of Tucson Mayor and Council hereby recognizes and supports the missions and long term viability of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the leadership of Davis-Monthan to make the appropriate decisions when balancing National Security and community needs when it comes to their existing and future military mission and assignments.”
Section 2: “The various City officers and employees are authorized and directed to perform all acts necessary or desirable to give effect to this Resolution.
Section 3: “Whereas it is necessary for the preservation of the peace, health and safety of the City of Tucson that this resolution become immediately effective an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this resolution shall be effective immediately upon its passage and adoption.”
So, is your town having problems? Just turn over control to the nearest military base and let them start making the decisions for you. Hey, it’s what Tucson just did!
According to http://occupiedtucsoncitizen.org Lee Stanfield emailed the Mayor and each council member in response to Resolution 22006. Mr. Stanfield wrote: “I am beginning to wonder if I still live in the United States of America! I just read a resolution which states it was adopted by the Mayor and the City Council, who supposedly represent me…and all the other citizens of Tucson. If this document is actually correct in stating that it has been adopted by the Mayor and Council on Feb. 20, 2013…then clearly the Mayor and Council have no concept of what ‘representation of Tucson citizens’ means, nor what constitutes an ‘emergency’! Without any approval, discussion, or even knowledge of its existence by Tucson voters, this document gives the Air Force unconditional approval to use its own discretion…to go ahead with their dangerous plans for Tucson.”
According to an article on http://www.infowars.com “The Department of Defense initially made the power grab in response to civilian complaints about military flights over the city.” So how are civilian complaints being addressed? Why by adding two-fold to the flights folks are complaining about.
So the Air Force will now “balance” the city’s needs with those of the military. Want to bet which side the scales will be weighted on? To all intents and purposes the citizens of Tucson, Arizona will be under military rule. At that point, why not fire the Mayor and City Council as they will be doing no real governing anyway, having abrogated that responsibility to the Air Force. But then, that might not work either, as the military will have to have a few figureheads up there so the average citizen in Tucson will think he actually has something to say about how his city is run. I wonder how many citizens of Tucson were in attendance at the council meeting where this resolution was passed.
All this proves that if you want to keep track of what goes on in your city or town you better start attending the council meetings, otherwise you may wake up some morning after the last council meeting only to find that you and your rights have been sold down the river because you were not willing to go to the meeting and find out what goes on in your city or town.