Is it a city council's place to get involved in national politics? No.
Pendleton's City Council was asked this week to consider taking up a resolution opposing U.S. military intervention in Iraq. Rightfully, the council let the action die.
Members said there wasn't enough notice and time to get input on what the community thought about the issue.
We are left wondering just how are you going to gauge the true sentiment of the community - a poll, a head count of who shows up, a special election to vote?
There is no question this is a contentious issue. There are strong feelings on both sides. But city government isn't the forum for airing a discussion on a national political matter.
There are more important issues facing our cities such as economic development and finding ways to improve our living conditions and meet the needs of the local populace.
Passing a resolution on national and state issues that deal with matters taken up by city governments would make more sense but still lacks impact and any real effect.
We agree with those council members who said it isn't Pendleton's business to make national policy decisions and that federally elected officials have a better basis to do so.
City lawmakers aren't privy to the same information as congressional leaders, just as national lawmakers aren't privy to local legislation and issues. It's why we have local, state and national governments with clearly defined responsibilities.
Further, the city has nothing to gain in getting involved in such a political debate. Yes, there are cities that have passed similar resolutions. Yet any vote by a city council would serve to act, at best, as a placebo, making people feel as if they made their voices heard, when in effect, as far as the national conscience is concerned, it would be the vote of a few city council members or viewed as an endorsement by only another handful of voters.
Write your congressman. Write your senator. That's the appropriate forum. Do not ask local officials to make your voice more important than each voice already is to these representatives who need our votes to be elected in the first place.