Keene Council Shoots Down BEARCAT Return Proposal

Actual picture from LENCO's site

Feeling safer yet?

It appears the city council of Keene wants to continue to be the laughingstock of the world. Terry Clark, the heroic councilor who stood alone against the BEARCAT police tank foisted on us in 2012 by the Department of Homeland Security, had put forth a proposal to return the military hardware. The proposal was heard for the first time at tonight’s city council meeting, where it was shot down.

Rather than respecting Clark’s request for a public hearing on the matter, “mayor” Kendall Lane deemed Clark’s proposal as “informational”. This is a common tactic to blow the issue off the table and silence any discussion on the matter from the public. Normally, this is how proposals by us normal folk are treated, but city councilors’ proposals are generally given deference and are sent to a sub-committee for a public hearing. Not in this case. Despite councilor Emily Hague coming to Clark’s aid and objecting to Lane’s blow-off, they could not garner near enough votes to override Lane’s move. Only Emily Hague, Terry Clark, and Bettina Chadbourne voted to override – the rest voted to take it as “informational”.

What happened to Carl Jacobs and David Meader, two newer councilors who in 2012 had originally joined Clark (along with Bettina Chadbourne) in opposing the BEARCAT?  I was informed by council-observers that Jacobs and Meader voted with the mayor and for the BEARCAT this time.  Shameful.

Kudos to Terry Clark, Bettina Chadbourne, and Emily Hague for standing against police militarization.

What is next?  Council elections are next year.  Hopefully the voters won’t forget this and clean house.  Meantime, can the people of Keene do anything to keep this issue alive?  My understanding is the issue is no longer valid until it can be re-issued in 2015.  Please correct me if I am wrong.

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