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Thu, Oct. 17

Editorial: Climate agreement matter of cost, responsibility

One of the guiding principles entrenched in the campaigns for Mayor and Council members in Prescott is that the positions are non-partisan.

It matters not whether you are Republican, Democrat, Green or whatever, council business comes down to the issues.

It came as no surprise then and, frankly, we agree with the Prescott City Council’s action on Tuesday, call it lack of action, when adoption of the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement through a resolution failed.

Critics of the council have charged that climate change is political. If a council member does not believe the evidence, “then you are a denier,” one said.

Mayor Harry Oberg stated, as part of his stance, the resolution was a political statement he’d rather avoid making. Council member Billie Orr said she believes approving the resolution is unnecessary, adding: “Our citizens approved a general plan in 2015 that addresses many of the issues.”

The comments we support even more came from Council member Steve Sischka, who said: “The shame for me is that it’s become politicized. Is some of the stuff (in the resolution) right to do? Absolutely. But the truth of the matter is that it all costs money. … I think it’s my responsibility as a citizen to do this stuff, but I don’t think it’s the responsibility of the city.”

The two keys there are cost and responsibility.

And that brings us full circle to the issues – what the council needs to concern itself with.

Even as the one supporter of the resolution on the council, Jean Wilcox, said: “I think we have to look at our community. What can we do to make a commitment for future generations? It’s all right here (in the resolution).”

But we feel it is already in the General Plan, as well as part of the expected stewardship of the Prescott City Council. We would have our councilors focusing on local issues first – especially the budget and water resources.

Even those are affected by the concepts in the climate protection agreement, ignorance of which ultimately could have an effect on not only this area but also the state, nation and world.

But it’s the perspective we will not deny: local first.

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