Aspen urged to take stand opposing war | AspenTimes.com

Aspen urged to take stand opposing war

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Five individuals who made up the Aspen City Council in 1989 approached their currently seated counterparts Monday and urged them to take a formal position against war with Iraq.

Council members said they were willing to add the proposed resolution to the end of last night’s agenda ? except Councilman Tony Hershey, who said “absolutely not” ? but they ultimately agreed to table the measure until Dec. 9.

Former Mayor Bill Stirling, accompanied by former Councilmen Bill Tuite, Frank Peters, Michael Gassman and Steve Crockett, presented a seven-point resolution to the council for consideration.

It concluded: “Now therefore be it resolved that we urge the President and members of Congress to use the power of this nation not to wage war with Iraq but to pursue a peaceful alternative.”

When they served together on the City Council, the five former members rarely agreed on much, Stirling said, but they have discovered they are in agreement on a current matter of national significance.

The proposed resolution notes Congress has passed a resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraq and contends a pre-emptive strike against Iraq would cast the United States as the aggressor. The resolution also claims all nonmilitaristic options have not yet been pursued to the extent possible and notes “the price for war under any pretext is paid in human lives and suffering” before concluding the United States should seek a peaceful resolution.

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At the close of Monday’s meeting, Hershey suggested any action on the resolution be tabled until Dec. 9.

“Five former members come in here, drop a bomb and just leave,” Hershey said, indicating he’d like time to study the language of the resolution and his position on it.

The councilman also said he is philosophically opposed to local government involvement in national issues.

“If we’re going to do it, I’d like to have the opportunity to have a full and informed debate,” he said. “It would be silly to do it without a fair and full debate.”

The rest of the council agreed unanimously and tabled the resolution until next month.

[Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com]

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