The Vienna Town Council on Jan. 7 approved, if a tad irritably, approved a pair of proclamations regarding social issues beyond its usual scope of duties.
One proclamation, read by Council member Howard Springsteen, supported a National Day of Racial Healing.
“We understand and recognize that there is a racial divide in our country and we must all work earnestly to heal the wounds created by racial, ethnic and religious bias and build an equitable and just society so that all children can thrive,” part of the resolution read.
The second proclamation, this time read by Council member Linda Colbert, honored Jan. 20 through 26 as School Choice Week.
Citing how effective educational options play a role in economic vitality and community vibrancy, the resolution stated the town “recognizes the important role that an effective education plays in preparing all students in the Town of Vienna to be successful adults.”
Colbert supported the school-choice resolution, saying education applied to programs at the community center and elsewhere, not just the public schools.
“I kind of looked at [the resolution] as education in general,” she said.
But Council member Carey Sienicki, while not disputing the Council’s good intentions in signing off on the proclamations, wondered if those actions weren’t a little far afield.
“We don’t really do education,” said Sienicki, who voted against the School Choice Week proclamation. “This I kind of feel like is not in our wheelhouse.”
Council member Pasha Majdi also doubted whether resolutions on such broad topics were necessary.
“I think we’re getting a little ‘mission creep’ with our proclamations,” he said. “Let’s keep it to the stuff that is within the purview of the town of Vienna. I also want to say for the record that I am proud to live in the least-racist country on the planet, the United States of America.”