The St. Cloud City Council passed a resolution Monday night on refugees resettling here in the city, but it’s not the resolution proposed last week by council member Jeff Johnson. Instead council member Jeff Goerger, during the open discussion portion of the meeting, offered up an alternative.
I have written a resolution that I feel I can support, where I couldn’t support the resolution for a moratorium. I think too that it is more representative of the feelings of the council at large and of the community. Goerger’s resolution is in support of a “Just and Welcoming Community”.
Meanwhile, Johnson also read his resolution during the discussion, which called for a temporary moratorium on refugee resettlement in St. Cloud.
“This is a federal statute. Eighty-percent of it is a direct quote. We are in violation of federal law right here in St. Cloud.”
Goerger’s resolution in support of the refugees in St. Cloud passed on a 5-1 vote, Johnson was the lone opposing vote. Council member George Hontos was not at the meeting.
With a few hundred people in attendance, five people talked about refugees in St. Cloud during the open forum portion of the meeting. (Five is the maximum number allowed to speak during the open forum.) Justin Lewandowski says the city is diverse.
“St. Cloud looks like all of the people here tonight, people of love and people of the community, people of faith sitting together.”
Another resident, Adam Witten says, we have to fight past the myths and rumors.
“It has come up that some of our immigrants are trying to impose sharia law. I can tell you if I was leaving a war torn country that was trying to impose that law on me, I would not recreate it here.”
All five speaking spots were taken up by supporters of refugees, so anyone who opposes allowing additional refugees into the city didn’t have a chance to speak. The five speakers are based on the first-up-to-the-podium. There was one outburst from a man in the crowd during the open forum.
The crowd was split about half and half on which side of the issue they were on. Some held signs that said “We Support You Jeff”, while others had signs says things like “We are one community, don’t divide us”.
Three St. Cloud police officers were also at the meeting, as a precaution. Thanks to MNN Affiliate, WJON