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Fairmount council cools on U.S. peace department

Associated Press

FAIRMONT, Minn. — In response to public outcry, the City Council has rescinded its endorsement of legislation that would create a national department of peace.

A crowd of about 50 people was present Monday as the Council voted 3-2 to overturn its Nov. 13 decision to join a number of larger cities in support of a peace department.

Crowd members against the idea expressed concerns ranging from bureaucratic redundancies to ceding too much control to the U.N.

Supporters said such a department could be a clearinghouse of peacemaking practices that would be spread nationwide and worldwide.

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Councilor Andy Lucas, who voted to rescind the endorsement, said he initially supported it because he is for peace. After he and other counselors received a number of calls from people upset about the resolution, he changed his mind, saying that it’s not within the council’s rights to decide if the town and its residents should support such a department.

Councilor Jim Smith voted against rescinding the resolution.

"I don’t think it’s partisan," Smith said of the resolution. "We’re looking at how to make peace in a community."

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