Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Local Issue?

Last week, the Boulder City Council declined to move forward on a resolution calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq within six months. Although declining to pass this resolution, they are planning to hold a town hall meeting in the next couple of months to allow the public to weigh in on the issue.

This comes on the heels of a resolution that was passed by the City Council in January, 2003, opposing the forthcoming invasion of Iraq.

Also last week, the Nederland Board of Trustees failed to pass a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Bush.

Do local governments have any business weighing in on national and international issues like these? Or should they focus on local issues, like keeping the prairie dogs safe?

I believe that this type of thing is legitimate if and only if the big issue can be made into a local issue (or, of course, if the electorate votes for it.) For example, in the arguments for impeachment, it was pointed out that President Bush is trying to sell National Forest land, land that is part of the Nederland natural and cultural heritage and legacy, in order to pay for his budgetary mismanagement and war. That is bringing it home, and I think makes it legitimate local legislative fodder.

What about the Boulder issue? I've read the proposed resolution. Lots of great points. But, consider that:
  • The Boulder City Council has no expertise in this area.

  • The MoveOn resolution is just one plan out of many possible plans, even if you agree that something needs to be done. Why should the Council adopt this plan? Just because it was presented first or most loudly?

  • The resolution does not make the case that this is a local issue.

  • Who is going to take Boulder seriously, anyway? I mean, many folks will be surprised that we didn't pass this, and disappointed that they won't have another reason to belittle our city.
The backers of this proposal may believe strongly in their cause, but for our council members to act on it would just be pointless political posturing, or it would be legislating based on emotion. And that would be a shame.

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