The Forks City Council met in a hybrid meeting on Monday night with most attending in person and a number of others tuning in on Zoom.
In the Treasurer’s Report Clerk/Treasurer Audrey Grafstrom shared that Lodging Tax dollars collected continue to be setting all-time records. She stated that real estate tax is also continuing to surpass historical numbers.
In a discussion item, the council members looked at a Proclamation/Resolution declaring the City of Forks as a Sanctuary for Constitutional Rights. The idea had been proposed at the Oct. 11 council meeting by council member Jeff Gingell. At that meeting council member, Juanita Weissenfels said that she was completely and unequivocally opposed to any such resolution, as it oversteps the City’s role in such matters. At that meeting council members, John Hillcar and Mike Gilstrap said they would support such a Proclamation/Resolution with some changes to the document that Gingell had presented. Gilstrap also said he had supported the Constitution with his military service and would support this too.
Monday night the council members recessed for informal consideration of the edited document below:
(Corrected version of Resolution)
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF
FORKS, WA, SETTING FORTH OUR RESPECT FOR,
AND SUPPORT OF, CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS IN THE
CITY OF FORKS.
The City of Forks will continue to vigorously support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Washington.
WHEREAS, after gaining independence this nation adopted the United States Constitution as the supreme law of the land; and
WHEREAS, the United States of America is a constitutional republic, wherein the rights of the states and the people are ensured; and
WHEREAS, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, were adopted with the purpose, as stated in its preamble, of “extending the ground of public confidence in the Government” to “best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution;” and
WHEREAS, freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, the right to peaceably assemble, the right to due process under the law, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms are some of the many rights preserved in the Bill of Rights; and
WHEREAS, equal rights for men and woman and civil rights for all citizens regardless of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin are secured by the Constitution; and
WHEREAS, Washington is a state within the United States and has full rights as a state; and
WHEREAS, in 1889, Washington approved its Constitution, stating in the preamble, “We, the people of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this constitution.
WHEREAS, the Washington State Constitution protects the rights of Washingtonians to freedom of religious liberty, speech, assembly, and to keep and bear arms; and
WHEREAS, ALL RIGHTS contained in the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Washington are held in highest esteem by the City of Forks; and
WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Forks opposes any law that infringes upon the constitutional rights of Forks’ citizens; and
WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Forks has been approached by citizens who are opposed to any legislation proposed by the Washington State Legislature, the Governor of Washington, the United States Congress, or the President of the United States that would infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms or would ban the possession and use of firearms, magazines, ammunition, or accessories necessary to citizens of the City of Forks for defense of life, liberty, and property; and
WHEREAS, those citizens have outlined their concern and opposition to any legislation considered by the Washington State Legislature, the Governor of Washington, the United States Congress, or the President of the United States that would require a specific firearms owner ID card, registration of firearms, or a tax on the possession of firearms or ammunition within the City of Forks.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the City Council of the City of Forks hereby affirms our oath of office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Washington.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City Council of the City of Forks opposes any efforts by any entity to infringe on the constitutional rights of the citizens of Forks and will continue to defend and protect these constitutional rights.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City Council of the City of Forks encourages all Forks citizens to exercise their right to vote in elections as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the State of Washington.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City Council of the City of Forks encourages the United States Congress and the Washington State Legislature to protect the freedoms of our citizens under the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Washington, to reject any proposed law or regulation that will infringe on or burden these freedoms or undermine the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Washington.
PASSED BY THE CITY COUNCIL:
SIGNED BY THE MAYOR:
After some discussion and time given for council member Weissenfels to read the document she still voiced her concern for adopting such a document. In a vote that was taken, all were in favor, except for Weissenfels, she was not in favor. The motion carried.
In another statement made by Weissenfels, she voiced her concern for the lack of mask-wearing at the council meetings and said that was her reason for attending the meeting via Zoom. She encouraged Mayor Tim Fletcher to do something about it. After the meeting, Fletcher said that those attending in person were all wearing masks.
In staff reports Forks Police Chief Mike Rowley said that his department continues to look to fill some positions on the police force. Also in staff reports Public Works Director Paul Hampton said that the recent rain has “filled the city wells.”
Christi Baron, Editor