Letter to the Editor: Debate continues on whether political statements should be placed inside Newport City Hall
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Use of limited City Hall space: David Allen, City Councilor
Monday evening the Newport City Council was asked to display a statement in City Hall containing a “Declaration on Human Rights and Climate Change” guided by the United Nations Charter. At this point, the council was not asked to officially endorse the statement, although it was indicated such a request may be forthcoming at some future council meeting.
In response to the request, I urged the council to first discuss establishing a city policy for displaying statements or declarations in City Hall. After some discussion, city staff was asked to put together a draft policy for consideration at one of the council meetings next month.
The issue of climate change, or any other issue of such magnitude, is not what I’m concerned about with respect to this request. My concern, which a city policy may not even be able to address, is setting off an endless debate as to which topics should be provided the limited space available at City Hall, recognizing the diverse opinions.
Frankly, I’d rather have that limited space reserved for displaying art pieces, which is the current policy. But, in fairness to the individuals who approached the council last night, I was open to considering a city policy that included such requests. Clearly, this discussion will continue and not end anytime soon.
David N. Allen
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