Public Speaks on Failed Resolution at Twin Falls Council Meeting
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) The Twin Falls City Council agenda was focused on voting on the 2019 budget. But during public comment the people had another focus.
"When I found out that Twin Falls had done other resolutions for atrocities outside the United States where we've had refugees come in I was like, well then it makes absolute sense that they would speak out against an atrocity that's happening," said Twin Falls resident Diantha Leavitt
Last week the Twin Falls City Council voted against a resolution regarding the separation of kids from their families at the Mexico border. Monday citizens spoke at the podium voicing their frustrations.
"I really wanted to come and speak on behalf of our workforce that does make up 90% of the workers on out dairies in the area,” said President of the Idaho Dairymen Rick Naerebout.
"Would the city council have a voice if there were massive sweeps of this work force and there was nobody left to do the work?" asked another resident.
"I think that the city council can at least send a message that we believe in children, we believe in due process and we don't believe that children should be put in cages and forced into court without representation," said an immigration attorney who was present.
"Because there's a big difference between saying you're welcome and you're not welcome, and imagine saying that to little kids," said a resident.
"Imagine being covered in this, in this blanket. These are super thin, they're thermal blankets. So I'm here to speak up for the Latina community and the people who don't have a voice," said 22 year old activist Omar Huerta.
Omar and his friend Miguel wrote on them "I care do you" based on first lady Melania Trump's jacket, she wore when she and the president visited a border camp.
Councilman Christopher Reed mentioned the lack of truth a city council has on what's going on at the border, which is why he cannot support the resolution.
"This is out budget. We spend weeks, months looking over this to make sure we're making the right decision,” Reed said. “We don't get that information. I don't want to attach myself, either side, I don't know."
A motion to rework the resolution was presented by Councilman Chris Talkington and supported by Greg Lanting. However in order to be reworked and presented in front of the council in next week’s meeting it needed a majority to want to see the new resolution. As the council members went down the line starting with Suzanne Hawkins, Christopher Reed, Ruth Pierce and then Vice-Mayor Nikki Boyd, they all said their minds had not changed since last week, and they voted it down. Mayor Shawn Barigar was not present for the meeting.
As the council chambers emptied and the meeting continued, now focusing on the budget emotions were high, which led to the exchange of words between the original resolution creator Liyah Babayan and council members Christopher Reed and Ruth Pierce.
"The first time and the only time they come to speak to you, and you dismiss them," exclaimed Babayan.
"Please dismiss her out," Reed asked of Twin Falls Police Officers in attendance.
"I'll dismiss myself you be quiet Chris," Babayan responded as she exited the room.