City Councilor Verne Sund motions to reconsider safe city vote

  • SUND

Staff Writer
Published: 7/19/2019 11:28:42 PM

GREENFIELD — The safe city ordinance will be back on the City Council’s agenda at its regular August meeting after Precinct 1 City Councilor Verne Sund filed a motion to reconsider on Friday.

“I would like to reconsider my vote on safe city,” Sund wrote in his motion. “Even though I care for everyone, there will be a possible loss of federal funds for veterans.”

The ordinance was approved in a 10-to-3 vote at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting.

Councilors Douglas Mayo, Timothy Dolan, Mark Berson, Ashli Stempel, Sheila Gilmour, Penny Ricketts, Norman Hirschfeld, Otis Wheeler, Vern Sund and President Karen “Rudy” Renaud (who proposed the ordinance) voted in favor, and councilors Isaac Mass, Brickett Allis and Wanda Pyfrom voted against the ordinance.

The ordinance affirms that “Greenfield is a welcoming city, which embraces everyone including but not limited to the immigrant, the refugee, the asylum seeker and anyone of good faith and good will who wishes to be a member of our community.”

While it is not the same ordinance that Renaud originally proposed in 2017, which was defeated in a City Council vote of four in favor and six opposed, it is similar. The ordinance prohibits city officials from asking about a person’s immigration status, targeting someone or discriminating against an institution providing refuge to immigrants and their families and taking law enforcement action against someone on the basis of perceived immigration status.

Sund said he isn’t against the safe city and plans on presenting an amendment when it comes before the council next month.

“I found out there was a federal law approved on July 12 and there’s a possibility of some things in the safe city ordinance, if they aren’t redone, could cause vets to lose funding,” Sund said. “There are a lot of veterans in Greenfield. I want everyone to have rights. As much as I want undocumented immigrants to be protected, I want veterans to be protected.”

The case that Sund learned about, City of Los Angeles v. William Barr in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled in favor of the Department of Justice as within its right to withhold grant funding to sanctuary cities and states.

He said “with some tweaks” he would not be against the ordinance.

Renaud said she is optimistic about the ordinance passing and affirmed Sund’s right to reconsider.

“It’s why we have the reconsideration process,” Renaud said. “I know it was a hard vote for him. The reconsideration is part of the process, and it’ll come before the council at it’s August meeting.”


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