Copyright 2003 Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Inc.
Telegram & Gazette (Massachusetts)
March 26, 2003 Wednesday, FINAL EDITION
SECTION: LOCAL NEWS; Pg. B1
LENGTH: 705 words
HEADLINE: Council drops antiwar resolution; Issue called ‘international’ by mayor
BYLINE: Nick Kotsopoulos; TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
– District 1 City Councilor Stephen T. Patton last night withdrew an antiwar resolution he had brought before the council, thus avoiding a likely parliamentary confrontation with his colleagues.
. . .
In an interview, Mr. Patton said Mayor Timothy P. Murray told him before the meeting he was going to rule the resolution out of order, and that he had at least nine votes to sustain his ruling.
. . .
Mr. Murray acknowledged he advised Mr. Patton he was going to rule his resolution out of order. The mayor said the City Council should focus its energies on local issues and not spend time on national or international ones.
”We have a big enough agenda every week as it is, and it is often a challenge to get through that,” Mr. Murray said. ”We are not the United Nations or the Congress. We are not here to discuss the Kyoto treaty, the situation in Northern Ireland or global trade.
”Our focus is local issues,” the mayor added. ”We are elected to talk about things like potholes, fixing our sidewalks and funding our
schools. Outside this chamber, we all have our own opinions, and that’s fine. But when we’re here, we should be discussing those issues that are related to our city.”
. . .
After the council dealt with Mr. Patton’s resolution, the mayor ruled out of order a subsequent item brought forward by the Worcester County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.
The group submitted a petition, signed by more than 250 city residents, asking the council to urge the Massachusetts Congressional delegation to repeal sections of the USA Patriot Act. The group contends those sections threaten the civil liberties and civil right protections.
The council then amended its rules so that it no longer can take up any petition, resolution or communication that deals with personalities or with matters not within the general supervision of or related to the city government.
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