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The Democrats’ battle cry on all things migration and immigration has been ‘that’s not who we are’. Democrats don’t tell taxpayers whether we can afford to accept more refugees. They simply tell us that it’s imperative that the U.S. accept tens of thousands of refugees each year.

When President Trump said halt!, Lutheran Social Services screamed. As I’ve written about before refugee resettlement is how they make the money that pays their executives’ lucrative salaries. At the time, I wrote “LSS gets paid $1,000 for each refugee it finds a home for. This year, LSS will get $225,000 to resettle refugees. That doesn’t sound like humanitarian work. That’s what a lucrative racket sounds like.”

Public servants like St. Cloud City Councilman Jeff Johnson has tried to find out how much refugee resettlement costs St. Cloud taxpayers. For being fiscally responsible, the special interests have criticized him constantly. Thankfully, Johnson is about to get some answers:

Did you know that welfare spending in Minnesota is going up about 20 percent or more a year? K-12 budgets are ballooning, as well. All we have is a promise that the Office of Legislative Auditor is going to tell lawmakers in 2018 what costs are currently tracked, so lawmakers can presumably order HHS and other state agencies to begin tracking the costs.

Think of that last statement. At present, lawmakers haven’t told state agencies to track the costs of refugee resettlement. Here’s why that’s important:

Think about this a minute. From 2002-2014, there’s been an outmigration of Minnesota-born people. While that’s been happening, there’s been a strong inmigration of people born in other countries, sometimes hitting 15,000 international-born refugees.

Further, let’s remember that Minnesota’s welfare spending is increasing by 20% per year. What math-minded person thinks that’s sustainable? It’s one thing if a minor department’s budget increases by 10-15% per biennium for a couple biennia. That’s something that we can probably absorb without running a major deficit. The HHS budget is the second biggest line item in the state budget, behind only K-12 Education. Astronomical increases to the second-biggest department in Minnesota’s budget isn’t sustainable.

Our reigning elite, including so-called feminists, have ignored the pleas and shouted down the concerns of Americans who dare to wonder out loud how to deal with incoming cultures that openly reject religious tolerance, profess an allegiance to Sharia law, practice polygamy and mutilate their daughters. These are not the loser racists who show up in ridiculous man-boy outfits to rant and rave at alt-right gatherings. These are good, decent Americans who wonder, “What about my culture? Does that get any respect?”

This isn’t a partisan issue. It’s a bipartisan issue. Businesspeople from both parties love cheap labor. If they have to drive the middle class out of Minnesota while importing low-skill international workers that they pay a pittance, then that’s what they’re willing to do.

That isn’t to say that all businesspeople think that way. They don’t. I’m just identifying the fact that there are some entrepreneurs who do think that way. Often, they’re found in the hospitality and meat-packing industries.

The point is simple: importing thousands of international refugees isn’t sustainable. Politicians that tell us otherwise are either lying or they’re too stupid to serve us properly.

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This article provides proof that President Trump would implement an America-first refugee policy. According to the article, Michelle Eberhard, who leads refugee services at Arrive Ministries, is quoted as saying “In my office, I am prepared for a big cut. I would be really surprised if we get even close to that 45,000 number nationally.”

Later in the article, it says “Lutheran Social Service projects placing 200 people in the Twin Cities and 225 in St. Cloud. With 24 arrivals so far and roughly a dozen more expected in coming months, hitting that target is in question, but the agency says it remains optimistic. Advocates and resettlement officials decry the changes, which they say mean vulnerable people as well as family members already settled here will face longer waits and uncertainty.”

It’s important to ask the question of why Lutheran Social Services, aka LSS, is optimistic of settling more refugees. The simple truth is that LSS gets paid lots of money to settle people in the United States. That money is required to help them pay the exorbitant salaries of their executives.

Also, “About 1,620 refugees came to Minnesota during the federal fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, down more than 40 percent from the previous year. Comparing calendar year numbers is even starker: By the end of 2017, fewer than 950 refugees will have arrived in Minnesota, compared with more than 3,000 in 2016.”

Chain migration must end. It doesn’t make sense to not base migration on what’s best for the United States, not the refugees. This information is troubling:

The new guidelines also suspended the so-called “follow-to-join” program, which allows refugees resettled within the past two years to sponsor spouses and unmarried children. Officials here do not know exactly what share of refugees arrive in Minnesota through the program, which the administration said raised concerns because relatives undergo less extensive vetting. But family reunification dominates resettlement in the state.

Why should DHS accept as fact who is and isn’t family?

It’s justifiable to question a program that doesn’t want to answer the public’s questions.

Who needs constituents when you’ve got special interests that want special favors? First, Monday night’s city council meeting was mild by recent meetings. The big item on the menu was a discussion of this resolution presented by Council President Carol Lewis:

WHEREAS, tobacco use is the foremost preventable cause of premature death in the United States, responsible for approximately 480,000 deaths a year and 208 million premature deaths in the U.S. over the past 50 years since the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking in 1964;

WHEREAS, the annual economic impact of smoking in the U.S. is approximately $300 billion in health care and lost worker productivity costs;

WHEREAS, national data show that 95 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before they turn 21, and that adolescence is a critical period when many smokers move from experimental smoking to regular, daily use;

WHEREAS, the developing brains of adolescents are particularly susceptible to the addictive properties of nicotine, and tobacco industry documents show that those who start smoking by the age of 18 are almost twice as likely to become lifetime smokers as those who start after they turn 21;

WHEREAS, electronic smoking device use among minors has recently tripled, and use of electronic smoking devices is associated with and may encourage the use of conventional tobacco products;

WHEREAS, 90% of all individuals who purchase tobacco products for minors are between the ages of 18 and 20;

WHEREAS, a 2015 Institute of Medicine report concludes that raising the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products nationwide will reduce tobacco initiation, particularly among adolescents aged 15 to 17 (by 25%), and that it will improve health across the lifespan and save lives; and that raising the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products to 21 nationwide would, over time, lead to a 12 percent decrease in smoking prevalence;

WHEREAS, the Institute of Medicine also predicts that raising the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products to 21 nationwide would result in 223,000 fewer premature deaths, 50,000 fewer deaths from lung cancer, and 4.2 million fewer years of life lost for those born between 2000 and 2019, and that it would result in near immediate reductions in preterm birth, low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome;

WHEREAS, more than 250 communities have enacted laws mandating a minimum legal sales age for tobacco products to 21,13 including Edina and Bloomington, MN.

WHEREAS, three-quarters of U.S. adults favor raising the MLSA for tobacco products to 21, including seven in ten smokers;

WHEREAS, the retail impact of ordinances mandating a minimum legal sales age of 21 for tobacco products is minimal, with an estimated decrease of only 0.24-0.48%;

WHEREAS, raising the legal drinking age to 21 led to reduced alcohol use and dependence among youth, and dramatically decreased drunk driving fatalities;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Saint Cloud City Council highly recommends that State of Minnesota raise the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products to 21.

The City Council received a copy of the resolution late last week, which is an improvement over the dissemination of Jeff Goerger’s resolution of Oct. 23. At the Nov. 6 meeting, the City Council passed an ordinance that would’ve prevented St. Cloud businesses from selling cigarettes to people under the age of 21. Fortunately, Mayor Kleis vetoed the ordinance.

This time, Ms. Lewis and Messrs. Laraway, Libert and Masters were prepared to vote for the above resolution. Fortunately, Councilman Johnson injected a little sanity into the discussion by saying that the people of St. Cloud haven’t seen the resolution, adding that he didn’t feel comfortable voting on anything without first consulting with his constituents. (Apparently, their constituents weren’t a consideration. They had the votes and that’s all that mattered to these ‘public servants’.

This past weekend, there was an event where it was discussed whether there was a possibility of a repeat of the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. The question this time was whether this might happen to Somali refugees. After reading this article, it isn’t difficult to picture these panelists as propagandists.

I’m confident they’re propagandists because the article starts by saying “As they say, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. A panel of experts in St. Cloud is trying to prevent that. At an event at the St. Cloud Public Library on Saturday, the group will discuss the infamous presidential Executive Order 9066. The order allowed the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Panelists will also discuss how U.S. history relates to today’s anti-immigration policies and a rise in Islamophobia.”

The minute I read the italicized sentence, I knew CAIR was involved with this event. That was verified when the Times reporter wrote that “The event was organized by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR-MN, and the Twin Cities chapter Japanese-American Citizens’ League. CAIR is the largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization in the U.S. The group hopes to enhance understanding of Islam and protect civil liberties.”

That sentence is always included in any article that mentions CAIR. Actually, CAIR is more accurately described as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Lands Foundation trial. A federal jury ruled that the Holy Land Foundation “was convicted on 10 counts of conspiracy to provide, and the provision of, material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization; 11 counts of conspiracy to provide, and the provision of, funds, goods and services to a Specially Designated Terrorist; and 10 counts of conspiracy to commit, and the commission of, money laundering.” But I digress.

Here’s the rationalization for the event:

Organizers say the panel is especially timely given a recent attempt by a St. Cloud City Council member to pass a moratorium on refugee resettlement in St. Cloud. The measure failed with a vote of six to one, with council member Jeff Johnson as the only yes vote. The council then reaffirmed a resolution they passed a few weeks before saying St. Cloud is a welcoming community.

Talk about spin/propaganda. There’s nothing in Councilman Johnson’s resolution that would’ve violated anyone’s civil liberties. The thought that CAIR-MN would attempt to connect the Japanese internment of World War II with Councilman Johnson’s resolution says everything about CAIR’s motivations.

CAIR’s dishonesty is showing. The definition of internment is “the state of being interned; confinement.” The definition of moratorium is “a suspension of activity.” This is classic CAIR fearmongering. There isn’t a chance of Somali refugees getting put into confinement.

This is part of a campaign of propaganda. This LTE is filled with dishonesty. Check out this paragraph:

For the second time in two weeks, the St. Cloud City Council Nov. 6 overwhelmingly rejected council member Jeff Johnson’s controversial moratorium on refugee resettlement. Twice now only Johnson has voted for his moratorium. Plus, after intense deliberation, the council Oct. 23 approved a resolution declaring the city a “just and welcoming community.”

I watched the Oct. 23 City Council meeting. They didn’t have a lengthy discussion on Councilman Jeff Goerger’s resolution. Jeff Johnson was the only person who spoke in opposition to Councilman Goerger’s resolution. During his presentation, Councilman Johnson quoted from the Refugee Act of 1980. There wasn’t any mention of religion during Councilman Johnson’s presentation. It focused on the relationship between the federal government, the local government and the placing agency.

To hear the propagandists from CAIR explain what happened that night, you’d think that hordes of angry white people had told reporters that they wanted to drive Somali refugees from St. Cloud. That didn’t happen. Simply put, the CAIR propagandists are totally dishonest. Their propaganda shouldn’t be tolerated.

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According to quotes from this article, the St. Cloud City Council doesn’t like the First Amendment. This isn’t an opinion. That sentiment comes through loud and clear when Jenny Berg quoted Carol Lewis as saying “People were extremely angry with me for limiting time and number (of speakers). Now what if I limited topic? My point is we would have had a riot on our hands.”

The City Council already limits what citizens can talk about during open forum. According to the article, the “council’s rules of order state residents can speak at open forums for two minutes on topics not on the agenda. Refugee resettlement became a topic on the agendas when council members Jeff Goerger and Jeff Johnson asked to discuss resolutions during the discussion portion of the meeting.” Having watched the Oct. 23 and Nov. 6 meetings, I can state with certainty that Council President Lewis indeed limited the citizens’ speeches to subjects not on the agenda.

That’s a violation of the First Amendment, which states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” It’s well-established fact that the Constitution is a limiting document written to restrict the federal government. There’s nothing in the Constitution that permits the government, whether it’s a city council or the US Senate or anything in between, to tell its citizens what subjects it will permit. The First Amendment says that people have “the right to peaceably assemble” and “to petition the government” about its grievances.

The government is prohibited by the First Amendment from telling its citizens what they can’t talk about. This is telling, too:

Council member Dave Masters said he is in favor of the open forum, but wants a civil discussion. “Some of the speakers we’ve had recently I felt went over that line,” Masters said, saying some speakers attacked the City Council or specific members. He said he has an issue with people “grandstanding” in front of the camera.

A politician who has a problem with citizens grandstanding. Seriously? That’s rich. It’d be nice if we lived in a society where all issues were solved through civil discussion. That isn’t the society we’re living in. Further, the government can’t limit speech, even if it’s grandstanding speech. Then there’s this:

City Administrator Matt Staehling suggested the council consider moving the open forum to the end of the meeting so residents can talk about whatever topic they want, even if it was on the agenda. “It might be easier to manage,” he said. Staehling said some other cities allow people to register to speak at the open forum ahead of time with the city clerk; those people then have priority at the meeting.

Again, the First Amendment already gives people the right to “talk about whatever topic they want.” That’s addressed by the clause stating that citizens have the right “to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” The definition of grievances is “a wrong considered as grounds for complaint, or something believed to cause distress.” The definition of redress is “the setting right of what is wrong.”

The government can’t tell citizens that they can’t address something that’s causing them distress or worry. Government might state its preferences but it can’t enforce their preferences if their preferences don’t agree with the Constitution.

This is troubling:

Johnson said he had concerns with the council not following its rules of order for the past month, and was frustrated with how Goerger’s resolution “in support of a just and welcoming community” was presented to the City Council at the beginning of the Oct. 23 meeting and then voted on that night.

The Council didn’t follow its rules that night. The City Clerk admitted that Councilman Goerger’s resolution wasn’t included in Councilman Johnson’s packet of information for the Oct. 23 meeting even though it was received on the Thursday before the Oct. 23 meeting. That means Councilman Goerger’s resolution was intentionally hidden from Councilman Johnson.

BTW, that’s a violation of City Council Rule # 6, which states “All items of business before the Council for the first time shall be listed as new business or on the Consent Agenda with a notation indicating the item is new business. Official action may not be taken if any Council Person objects to action being taken on the item.” Councilman Johnson certainly objected to voting on Councilman Goerger’s resolution because he said he hadn’t had time to read it.

The rules don’t mean anything with Council President Lewis or to most of the members of the Council. Most of the City Council members just care about winning. If they have to break the rules to win, they’re ok with that.

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Displaying incredible elitism, DFL gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz criticized farmers. Walz said “You see those maps. Red and blue and there’s all that red across there. And Democrats go into a depression over it. It’s mostly rocks and cows that are in that red area.”

Coming from a guy who represents tons of farmer in Washington, DC, that’s a pretty elitist-sounding statement. Jeff Johnson and Matt Dean quickly pounced on Walz’s statement. Dean quickly posted a statement on Facebook, saying in part “Rocks & Cows? I’d say Cows Rock! Dairy is an important industry in greater MN. Tim Walz should get out of DC and visit a dairy farm. We’ve had seven years of greater Minnesota being treated like lesser Minnesota. Things are going to change and we make a greater Minnesota for everyone.”

Later in the statement, Dean said “My windshield time is best spent talking to people I’m going to meet along the way. Many of those conversations are polite but short because of the unbelievable amount of harvest work that needs to be done. I’ve learned so much in such a very short time because you do need to meet people where they are when they are that busy. I thought my door-knocking days were winding down, but I’ve surprised many folks at home or on the farm. How gracious they are.”

This is pitch perfect:

Mr. Walz should do 87in87. Heck, he should just visit his own constituents. The First district has awesome farmers. They aren’t red or blue. They are hardworking people. They are getting their teeth kicked in by Healthcare costs and low prices for their crops. The corn prices are so low they can’t afford the healthcare they had last year. Now the crops are so wet, they can’t get the money or the propane to dry them out! And snow is already here.

Commissioner Johnson replied in this Facebook post “Once again, a DFLer slips up and tells us what he really thinks about Greater MN. Tim Walz says much of rural Minnesota is just ‘rocks and cows.’ As someone whose roots, family and values are all in Northwestern Minnesota, I find that statement both arrogant and ignorant. Yes, there are lots of rocks and lots of cows in parts of Greater MN, but more importantly there are lots of decent, hard-working, patriotic Americans. Let’s focus on them for a change rather than dismissing them as irrelevant or unimportant. Minnesotans deserve better than what the DFL is giving us.”

Here’s the video of Walz acting like a jackass:

That’s frighteningly insensitive. Years ago, Mike Kinsley said that “a gaffe is when you accidentally tell the truth.” This fits into that category. It’s apparent that Walz is pandering to the metro DFL activists. Don’t forget that Walz already renounced the NRA:

Walz recanted his prior support for the NRA and announced that he would donate money given to him by the pro-Second Amendment group to a charity helping veterans and their families. ‘The politics is secondary,’ Walz told Murphy on Sunday. ‘I have got friends who have been, had gun violence in their family and like so many responsible gun owners, it’s what I grew up on.’”

Criticizing farmers and gun owners is political suicide in the general election. It might help him get the DFL endorsement but it’s a killer for the big election.

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Just 2 weeks ago, the St. Cloud City Council tried silencing Councilman Jeff Johnson. They improperly approved a resolution that wasn’t allowed by the Council’s own rules. For an item to get discussed during the meeting, the council is supposed to receive notice that it will be discussed, with the theory being that the council should have the opportunity to read and think through proposals. Instead, Councilman Goerger ambushed Councilman Johnson with his ‘welcoming’ resolution.

During last night’s discussion of Johnson’s resolution, Councilman Hontos scolded the Council for mistreating Johnson. Hontos highlighted something that the Council rejected when Jeff Johnson proposed it but accepted it when Mayor Kleis proposed it. Let’s be clear about something. This Council, as currently configured, isn’t welcoming if you don’t march in lockstep with them. Frankly, several members don’t apply the rules that they voted on in August. They’ve done everything they can to discourage Jeff Johnson’s quest for information about how much refugee resettlement costs taxpayers.

The good news is that Councilman Johnson isn’t easily discouraged. The more these politicians and bureaucrats try hiding this information, the more Johnson insists on getting the information. BTW, each time the Council tries keeping that information from the public, Johnson’s group of supporters gets bigger. This isn’t disappearing. It isn’t going away. These citizens are determined. Politicians who’ve attempted to ignore this issue will get hurt the next time they run for re-election.

About 4 hours and 10 minutes into the meeting Councilman Johnson talked about the provision that allows states to opt out of the program. Specifically, Councilman Johnson said “What absolutely frustrates me is when members of the legislature tell me that there’s nothing the state can do. That’s absolute bullroar because it says right here in 45 Code of regulations dash 301, giving states the ability to opt out of the Refugee Resettlement Program.” Then Councilman Johnson highlights the procedure for opting out of the resettlement program. It isn’t impossible. It just requires a spine. Councilman Johnson is the only person on the City Council who has one. He’s also the only person who actually listens to the people, not the special interests.

The truth is that the people who voted for Councilman Goerger’s resolution aren’t welcoming people. They’re welcoming only if people agree with them. They ambushed Councilman Johnson because he stood up to them. That isn’t the definition of welcoming. That’s the definition of fickle.

This LTE, written by Maureen Warren, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, is pure CYA. In the LTE, Warren states “As part of our work, we are required to hold quarterly meetings with stakeholders that are involved in the process of helping to resettle refugees. These stakeholders include officials from local government, county personnel in human services, and representatives from public health, public safety, housing community, public education, social services, businesses and other service providers.”

There’s ample proof that county officials have gotten briefed on the programs. After all, they administer most of these programs. However, there’s no proof whatsoever that city officials have attended these meetings. Mayor Kleis has repeatedly said that the city doesn’t have anything to do with refugee resettlement. He’s also said “We don’t have any funding that goes to refugee resettlement.”

That’s pretty slippery wording. Notice that Mayor Kleis didn’t say that the city budget doesn’t spend money on refugees who’ve already settled here. Further, citizens who support Councilman Johnson’s moratorium haven’t talked about city budgets:

Since July 10, 22 people have spoken about refugee resettlement. Many of the speakers said they are concerned about the taxpayer cost of refugees.

Once the refugees have been here 90 days, federal funding disappears. At that point, the taxpayers get hit with the costs of supporting refugees. The same taxpayers that pay property taxes to the city get hit with property tax increases from the school district to pay for programs that help refugees learn the English language. That’s why St. Cloud’s education rating is awful. By comparison, Sartell, which doesn’t have to deal with refugees, earns a higher rating for education and for crime.

Our focus is to increase communication and seek solutions to meet the needs of refugee populations. This is a working group. Quarterly meetings were never intended to be an open public forum.

Thus far, it’s apparent that LSS’s focus is on keeping these proceedings secret.

We know there is community interest in learning more about refugee resettlement. To create greater understanding about this work, we are opening our December quarterly consultation meeting to interested public observers.

How quaint. LSS is opening up a meeting one time so LSS can say that they’ve been transparent.

Resettling refugees is humanitarian work. We’ve been involved in refugee resettlement for nearly 10 years in St. Cloud, and many decades in Minnesota. Our role is to help refugees get off to a good start and become productive members of the community as quickly as possible.

Actually, it’s a racket. Businesses that hire refugees who’ve been unemployed more than 6 months qualify for a tax credit of up to $9,600. Businesses hiring refugees aren’t hiring them for middle management positions. They’re hiring them for unskilled positions. In other words, businesses get cheap labor and a huge tax credit for hiring cheap labor.

Meanwhile, LSS gets paid $1,000 for each refugee it finds a home for. This year, LSS will get $225,000 to resettle refugees. That doesn’t sound like humanitarian work. That’s what a lucrative racket sounds like. This letter from Ron Branstner lays things out beautifully:

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Much has been written about the controversial finish to the Oct. 23 St. Cloud City Council meeting. One thing that’s been the topic of discussion is that the Goerger resolution felt like an ambush. That’s certainly the position most of Councilman Johnson’s supporters have. After Councilman Goerger’s introduction of his resolution and after it was seconded, Councilman Johnson rightfully complained that he’d had less than 2 minutes to read Goerger’s resolution before voting on it. Noticeably silent was Councilman Masters.

That’s odd because of what happened at the Oct. 9 City Council meeting. Near the end of that meeting, Councilman Johnson told the Council that he would be introducing a resolution at a future City Council meeting. At that point, City Councilman Masters said to Councilman Johnson “If you would please provide both the Council and to the administration this proposal so we could look at it ahead of time and have diligent time to look it over and so forth.” Councilman Johnson quickly replied that he’d get his proposed resolution at least a week in advance of the Oct. 23 meeting. You can see the exchange between Johnson and Masters approximately 1:18:00 into this video:

About a week in advance, Councilman Johnson announced that he wouldn’t bring forth his resolution until the Nov. 6 meeting, most likely because Councilman Hontos was out of town for the Oct. 23 meeting.

When Councilman Goerger brought up his resolution, Councilman Johnson complained about having insufficient time to read through the resolution and to do proper diligence on it. At the first opening after Councilman Johnson spoke, Masters made a motion to end discussion on the motion. The question I’d ask Councilman Masters is straightforward. It’s obvious that he wanted to do his diligence with Councilman Johnson’s resolution. Why didn’t he want to take the same amount of time to do his due diligence with Councilman Goerger’s resolution? Was it because he’d already read the resolution prior to the Oct. 23 meeting? But I digress.

My question for Councilman Masters is this: Why didn’t he make a motion to table discussion on Goerger’s resolution rather than making his motion to shut down discussion? Doing the proper due diligence is certainly appropriate. Why didn’t he apply the same seriousness to both resolutions?

Last week, this St. Cloud Times editorial said “The St. Cloud City Council did the right thing Monday night when it voted 5-1 to adopt a resolution declaring the city a just and welcoming community.” They’re entitled to their opinion, though they aren’t entitled to their own facts. The truth is that the Council didn’t vote on Councilman Goerger’s resolution, at least during the regularly scheduled meeting. They voted on whether to end discussion on Jeff Goerger’s resolution.

Instead of rehashing what happened last Monday, let’s play a game called ‘What if’? For the sake of this post, let’s imagine that the City Council had 5 people who opposed refugee resettlement and just one that wanted the federal government to send more refugees to St. Cloud. Next, let’s assume that the resolution wasn’t published until minutes before discussion started on the resolution. Next, let’s assume that the majority attempted to end discussion after just 5 minutes. Finally, picture this happening while the audience screamed ‘Out of order’ when they weren’t booing the lone councilmember who supported unlimited refugee resettlement.

Given the different outcome, would the St. Cloud Times write that the City Council had done the right thing? Would the Times say that hiding such a resolution was a good thing? Or would they criticize the angry mob for hiding the resolution from the people? Would they praise the City Council for their lack of transparency? Or would they criticize them for ambushing an unsuspecting city councilmember?

If you attended the meeting 2 weeks ago or watched it livestreamed, you don’t have to imagine anything. You watched it play out that way, just with the roles reversed.

The point of this thought exercise is to highlight the importance of a few things, starting with the necessity of playing fair. Without consistent enforcement of the rules, chaos runs rampant. Without enforcing the rules of the City Council, people might get ambushed, which is what happened on Oct. 23.

Another thing that hasn’t been emphasized enough is the fact that Councilman Goerger’s resolution, which called for a just and welcoming city, wasn’t discussed with respect towards those who didn’t agree with them. The meeting was the definition of chaotic:

This ambush was the City Council at its worst. It didn’t discuss the issue thoroughly or respectfully. The Council didn’t listen to the people before shutting down debate. Worst, the Council wasn’t interested in having a debate. Those that sided with Jeff Goerger were interested in winning. They cared more about mob rule than they cared about principled, respectful governance.