As I attended the Sandpoint City Council meeting last Wednesday, I was disappointed and saddened by the fear and anger exhibited by a large group of people toward a resolution proposed by the Mayor. The resolution was intended to welcome any refugees to our area and counter a resolution passed by the County Commissioners to ban any refugees into our area. In both cases they were largely symbolic resolutions and would not have any practical effects whatsoever since there are no plans to bring refugees into North Idaho.
What saddened me were the language, catcalls and angry reaction to a resolution that exhibited tolerance and compassion toward people who are less fortunate than many of us. Granted the language of the resolution could have been better written, it was the reaction to it that disturbed me most, especially in a community that is well known for its generosity to help others. While the resolution was tabled until the next meeting, I sincerely hope that the Mayor and City Council don’t succumb to the pressures of this very vocal group from largely outside the City of Sandpoint.