The subject of refugee resettlement has been tabled by the St. Louis County Board until May 26. I believe this was a good thing since many people were unaware that it was on a County Board agenda in January. Granted, you can go to the county’s website and read what is coming up, but many people do not do that and yet are concerned about this topic.
Reading the March 6 News Tribune story, “In Northland, refugee issue divides, simmers,” it’s clear Commissioner Frank Jewell does not want to wait until May 26. He is putting pressure on other commissioners to vote before then. Jewell needs to remember that the government is we the people, and he is only a representative of his district’s wishes.
People have legitimate concerns, such as refugees competing directly with St. Louis County citizens for benefits. There is also the potential need for increased security, which may mean the hiring of additional law enforcement. Where would the money come from? There are many other concerns as well.
Time was needed by St. Louis County citizens to respond to their respective commissioners. Undoubtedly, some citizens will try to make it to the May 26 meeting.
I applaud the commissioners who tabled this to May 26 so citizens can respond. They seem to understand they are servants of the people rather than people being servants to the politicians.
Since Commissioner Jewell seems to have so much disrespect regarding the input of county citizens, in my humble opinion, he should step down. An election could then be held to fulfill the rest of his term. This would be the honorable thing for him to do.
Steven K. Lerol