Iraq war resolution part of Rockingham Town Meeting

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(Host) Rockingham held its town meeting last night. After tending to local issues, voters weighed in on ending the war in Iraq.

VPR’s Susan Keese Reports:

(Moderator) “All in favor say Aye.”
(Crowd) “Aye”
(Moderator) “Opposed no.”

(Keese) The Voters gathered in the Bellows Falls Opera House easily passed a $2.9 million dollar municipal budget.

Then they wrestled with another $150,000 worth of requests from local organizations and service providers. After much discussion they approved all but one of those.

The town votes on its school budget and elected officials by Australian ballot today.

The article on the war was near the bottom. Moderator Mike Harty read it out loud.

(Harty) “That Rockingham and its citizens strongly support the men and women in all branches of the United states Armed Forces in Iraq and believe that the best way to support them is to bring each and every one of them home now and take good care of them when they get home.”

(Keese) Rockingham resident George Kuusela questioned the resolution’s sincerity.

(Kuusela) “I firmly believe that this is a non-binding, very divisive situation that has no real power, no meaning. It’s just sending a bad message to our troops and a good message to our enemies. So I’d encourage everyone to vote against this.”

(Keese) Rockingham Selectboard Chairman Thom McPhee said he didn’t think a resolution like this one had a place in town meeting business.

But William Corbett of Saxton’s River disagreed.

(Corbett) “Thom, I got to disagree with you. I respect you and I guess everybody here. This does affect all of us, our children. You know we’re all going to have a lot less money for education and all these other things that we’re trying to get.”

(Keese) Citizens in more than 20 town meetings will vote on advisory articles similar to Rockingham’s on bringing the troops home.

A number of other towns will consider non binding resolutions to impeach the president for alleged war-related misdeeds.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Susan Keese.

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