Troy’s City Council voted on whether the city would waive the rules of procedure for city council’s rule on proclamations and congratulatory certificates to construct a proclamation to stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian American community in Troy.
“Vote on Resolution to Waive the Rules of Procedure for the City Council, Rule Number Eight Proclamations and Congratulatory Certificates,” stated the proclamation submitted by Council Member Chamberlain Creanga.
“One of the reasons you do proclamations is to have something nice and easy, often lighthearted, like a couple that’s been married 75 years to get the meeting started,” said Mark Miller, Troy city manager at the meeting. “There have also been months though that we had five proclamations, maybe too many for the length of the meeting. From my standpoint, which is a non-political, administrative standpoint, my desire is for our meetings to be as quick and as reasonable and effective as possible.”
The beginning of the conversation centered the issue of using city resources to manage proclamation submssions as part of the difficulty with proclamations. Other issues such as a lack of expertise in some areas of submitted topics was another major issue presented.
“The difficult problem when we’re dealing with so many different cultural issues and differences is that we don’t have an expertise to know everything about everyone’s cultural background to know what sort of speed bumps might come up,” Miller added during the meeting.
The topic of conversation, sparked by council member Rebecca Chamberlain-Creanga’s introduced a desire to present a proclamation to stand with Troy’s Ukrainian American community during the recent conflict between Russia and Ukraine as a council.
“I’m not necessarily a fan of limiting proclamations and getting rid of them all together,” said Chamberlain-Creanga. “In terms of purpose, I go back to our purpose as a council: We are to address the health, safety and welfare of our community and if there’s a proclamation that is somehow getting at the welfare of a community group suffering, which is what I was seeking to address with the proclamation I did.”
One idea proposed by Chamberlain-Creanga was to involve Global Troy, an advisory committee created to strengthen the city’s cultural competence through cultural knowledge, to work through more ethnic focused proclamations.
“I’ve often wanted to see Global Troy play a role in these proclamations,” said Chamberlain Creanga. “I think of our South Asian and Indian community here and how we have representatives who are Hindu and Muslim from India on that committee and perhaps to see something and be able to, as citizens, provide input.”
Council member Theresa Brooks understood Miller and Chamberlain Creanga’s perspectives. She also took a liking to Chamberlain Creanga’s idea to involve Global Troy in some capacity.
“I do like the feel good things,” said Brooks. “I think we all agree that it brings a lot of value when we recognize members in our community doing amazing things. I think we should keep those kinds of things going but like standing things we do year after year maybe don’t need to be a formal proclamation. I think what Council member Chamberlain Creanga said, maybe some of the other more sticky things maybe could be managed through Global Troy.”
City Council is under a general consensus that there is a need for a list of standing proclamations and there needs to be some more thought in regards to global issue proclamations. The meeting concluded with the mention that the city hall was being lit with yellow and blue lights, the colors of the flag of Ukraine, while members were inside during the meeting.