Auroville – The hot topic at the Auroville City Council meeting on Tuesday was whether to make Auroville a constitutional republic city.
At least 10 members of the community addressed the council during public remarks in support of the motion, making passionate arguments for the passage of the agenda item. Most were unhappy with government policies such as the COVID-19 mask mandate and believed that as citizens people have rights under the US Constitution to make their own decisions about our health.
In a constitutional republic, executive, legislative and judicial powers are divided into separate branches and the will of the majority of the population is modified by the protection of individual rights so that no individual or group has absolute power. There is a difference between a constitutional republic and a democracy. A “democracy is run by the people and republic is run by the laws of the constitution.”
Mayor Chuck Reynolds said that a republic is one that is under the control of the city. People and representatives make decisions for the community. “We are living under a constitutional republic,” he said.
Reynolds also said that the focus should be on language. When a state is declared an emergency, it puts a person in charge and we should focus on who that person is.
“Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts,” Reynolds said. “A constitutional republic makes America a successful nation. Rights are by the people, for the people.”
Counselor Scott Thomson said staff and students in schools should choose whether to vaccinate or not.
“Every unit must stand. Silence is compliance,” Thomson said.
After much discussion and comments, the motion passed 6–1 with Chrissy Riggs’s vote alone. When the resolution was passed, the room was filled with applause and cheers.
Another hot topic was the timing that should be given to separate speakers for both non-agenda and agenda items. It was decided that the speakers should be given three minutes to talk.
At the start of the meeting, Reynolds officially declared November as Fugitive Prevention Month in Auroville.
“Twenty-five percent of young people are experiencing homelessness,” Reynolds said. “Many people have been abused. The LGBTQ community experiences a 120 percent (high) risk of homelessness.
Reynolds also said that the council wants to transform young people into happy and successful adults.
Later in the meeting, Auroville Assistant Community Development Director Don Nevers stated that lighting at the Auroville Convention Center had been completed.
The council also passed a resolution based on a proposal by DH Slater & Sons to demolish and remodel the Dispatch Center and Emergency Operation Center. The council approved and authorized Mayer to sign a 5-year agreement with Tyler Enterprises for the annual software service.
Counselor Eric Smith said the software installation process would take a year and a half and a lot of data needed to be integrated.
The motion was approved unanimously.
The council also discussed the upcoming Veterans Day parade in Auroville on 11 November. Councilor David Pittman said that the best option for a man to attend the event was a Marine named David who was at the Battle of Iwo Jima.
A World War II airplane will also fly over the city.
The next Auroville City Council meeting will be held on November 16, 2021 at 4 p.m. in the City Chambers at 1735 Montgomery St.