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there are resolutions and there are resolutions...

A resolution that simply says "Patriot bad" is, in my opinion, a waste of council and taxpayer time, and can even be seen as a fraud, in the sense that there may be a large number of city residents who disagree with the resolution, but who cannot attend the council meetings or effectively lobby their council members. When you say that umpty-ump hundred cities have passed resolutions against the Act, this naturally encourages the listener to imagine vast numbers of urban dwellers in opposition to Patriot, when the truth -- and the opposition -- may in fact be only half-vast.

On the other hand, a resolution that says "Patriot bad and here is how your city government will NOT comply..." is proper city business, because it has a direct bearing on how city operations will be conducted.

Which kind of resolution is Watsonville's?

I think a city council, if it wishes to register a view on the Patriot Act, the War, or any other regional or national concern in the name of the City, should hold a special election, encourage all to vote their consciences, and then publish the results. Anything else cannot credibly pretend to be "the city's" opinion. But a council resolution that directs specific city government behavior in response to a particular situation is certainly legitimate.
 


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