Community Resolution of Bethlehem, New York


WHEREAS, the Town of Bethlehem recognizes the Constitution of the United States as our charter of liberty, and that the Bill of Rights enshrines the fundamental and inalienable rights of America, including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and the right to be secure in our persons, effects and homes against unreasonable searches and seizures; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Bethlehem denounces and condemns all acts of terrorism and all those nations and people that support terrorism because acts of terrorism ultimately seek to destroy freedom; and

WHEREAS, terrorist attacks against the United States of America such as those that occurred on September 11, 2001, have necessitated the crafting of effective laws to protect the people of this nation from terrorist attacks; and

WHEREAS, new security measures of the federal, state and local governments should be designed carefully and employed to enhance public safety without violating the civil rights of innocent citizens; and

WHEREAS, certain provisions of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, also known as the USA PATRIOT ACT, allows the federal government to engage in surveillance, investigations, searches and other law enforcement activities that are
designed to prevent further attacks on the United States; and

WHEREAS, some concerns have been expressed that certain provisions of the USA PATRIOT ACT may offend the established rights and liberties guaranteed by the United States Constitution; and

WHEREAS, the United States Congress, on a bipartisan basis, has started a review of the provisions of the USA PATRIOT ACT; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Town of Bethlehem supports the federal government in its campaign against terrorism, and affirms its commitment that the campaign respect the Constitutional liberties of the citizens of this country; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town of Bethlehem, while taking no position on the merits of the USA PATRIOT ACT, encourages the United States Congress to continue its review of the effect of the USA PATRIOT ACT and to introduce and pass such amendments to the USA PATRIOT ACT as may be necessary to ensure public safety without infringing on the civil liberties of innocent citizens.

The foregoing resolution was presented for adoption by Mr. Marcelle and seconded by Mr. Plummer. The resolution was adopted by the following vote:

Ayes: Ms. Egan, Mr. Pluminer, Mr. Marcelle, Mr.Gordon.
Noes: Mr. Lenhardt.
Absent: None.

DATED: April 14, 2004

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