The Edmond Sun

June 11, 2012

Resident: Sister City relationship suspect

The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — To the Editor:

I recently witnessed an unbelievable meeting of the Edmond City Council on May 14. Up for consideration was the approval of a proclamation between the City of Edmond and Engles, Russia, for the development of Sister City relationship. Several well-informed Edmond residents spoke before the council to object strongly to the proposal. Their objections were well researched and professionally presented.

Among the several problems that was pointed out with the Sister Cities proposal was that Edmond’s commitment to be part of the Sister Cities International (sponsor of the program) involves their involvement in Agenda 21 as outlined by the United Nations adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Sister Cities at the time of the meeting lists ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) on its web page as one of its four organization partners. This information was all documented by those who spoke against the proposal. That reference cannot be found at this time on ICLEI web page for some reason. ICLEI is the Agenda 21 organization that implements programs at the local level.  

Why in the world does a beautiful Edmond need a sister city located in communist Russia? How can they possibly profit from such an arrangement? It seems to me that Russia would be the only beneficiary to the arrangement.

What was truly amazing was the fact that the City Council, without discussion on their part quickly approved the proposal unanimously. With the sincere concern expressed by citizens at the meeting who had all of the facts mentioned above. I would have thought that they would at least had further discussion and would make a decision at a future meeting after doing their own research. It was obvious that their minds were made up and the outcome was already decided.

Needless to say, I was very disappointed to see our city government act this way. I doubt that they will learn how to conduct better meetings from their Russian friends.

Bill O’Hare