Feb. 9—A resolution drafted by Terre Haute City Councilman Todd Nation calling for a ceasefire in Palestine and Israel failed to pass at Thursday evening's council.
Those who voted in opposition invoked a rule approved by the council in 2006 that all resolutions must be germane to issues within the city and within the council's powers to enforce.
Nation's resolution read, in part, "We unequivocally condemn both the attack on October 7, 2023 on Israeli citizens by Hamas, and the subsequent killing of civilians in Gaza and West Bank by the state of Israel; and
"We affirm our commitment to combat anti Palestinian/anti Arab bigotry, antisemitism, and Islamophobia; and
"We affirm our support for all people in Palestine and Israel to live in peace, justice, and security; and
"We affirm our support for the rights of all people, including residents of Terre Haute, to live, learn, work, play, worship, and engage in peaceful protest, all without intimidation, coercion, or the threat of violence; and ...
"We support the delivery of immediate, unconditional, and sufficient humanitarian aid including water, food, energy, shelter, medical and sanitary supplies to the noncombatant people of Gaza."
The resolution failed because the vote was four to four, and five votes are needed to pass a measure.
Cheryl Loudermilk, who also is Vigo County's chief deputy auditor, was not present because she was attending a county council meeting that was running concurrently with the city council's.
Voting against the resolution were George Azar, Jim Chalos, Amanda Thompson and Anthony Dinkel. All spoke in support of the language in Nation's resolution, but expressed misgivings about the motion's propriety in light of the 2006 rule.
Similar measures have been passed in 83 other American cities that don't have a comparable bylaw, Nation said.
Nation said on Friday that seven citizens spoke in support of the resolution during 30 minutes of public testimony. Among those who spoke in support were Terre Haute Human Relations Commission Director Anne-Therese Ryan and Sister Barbara Battista of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.
Afterward, Terre Haute Mayor Brandon Sakbun addressed the council. He said given the council rules, he would have voted no on the proclamation.
But the mayor also spoke approvingly of its language and noted that his office is not bound by such limitations. He said he planned to issue a proclamation mirroring the resolution's language on World Peace Day, Sept. 21.
In other business, the council named Michael A. Slagle as legal counsel for the City Council and funded his pay — up to $22,000 depending on how much work the council provides him.
The council also found the YMCA's project building subsidized housing at Sixth and Walnut Streets was in compliance with what it had promised the city when it received a tax abatement.
David Kronke can be reached at 812-231-4232 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.