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City Council to Vote on ‘Neighborly Community’ Resolution

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – The Twin Falls City Council will vote this evening on whether to adopt a “neighborly community” resolution.

City Manager Travis Rothweiler said during the May 1 council meeting that he’d prefer to title the resolution “neighborly community” instead of “welcoming city,” but several property owners who spoke at the meeting said they didn’t believe that Twin Falls needed a title, that it already was a welcoming place. Most residents who commented at the meeting, however, spoke in favor of such a resolution.

The draft didn’t mention refugees, but they were the topic of most of the public comments.

Mayor Shawn Barigar said he believed the resolution would go a long way to make migrants feel welcome and that their contributions are appreciated and needed.

“It’s important for the migrant in our community who doesn’t feel welcome,” he said. “It’s important for the person at the grocery store who’s wearing a headscarf being judged. It’s important for the gay person who cuts hair at a shop being judged for being gay.”

Two council members, Vice Mayor Suzanna Hawkins and Councilwoman Nikki Boyd, said they would not vote in favor of the resolution.

City staff received input from more than 50 people prior to the May 1 meeting, according to information from the city. The council directed staff to revise the document, which utilizes the city’s 2030 Strategic Plan and Comprehensive Planning documents.

In part, it reads:

The City of Twin Falls reaffirms its commitment to the vision, goals, and initiatives of the Strategic Plan; to build a community where all residents are welcomed, accepted, and given the opportunity to connect with each other without bias in pursuit of common goals; and to encourage individual residents, community institutions, civic groups, and business leaders to join in a community-wide effort to adopt policies and practices to promote unity, inclusion, understanding, and equity.

The complete draft that will go before the council today can be viewed here.

The meeting starts at 4 p.m. – an hour earlier than normal so the council can hear presentations from applicants for the Municipal Powers Outsource Grants – at the Twin Falls City Council Chambers, 305 Third Ave. East.

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