By Mila Besich-Lira
The Superior Town Council conducted a special meeting Wednesday, March 13, to pass a resolution expressing opposition to the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange Act. H.R. 687. The motion was passed unanimously.
The agenda included an executive session to discuss the response from Resolution Copper Mining to Terminate the agreement and discuss the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2013. The council did not vote to go into the executive (secret) session and instead handled the business on the agenda in open meeting.
Councilmember Soyla “Kiki” Peralta conducted the four-minute meeting.
In her opening statements, she explained to the packed room that there would be no discussion from the public and anyone making outbursts would be asked to be quiet and if they continued they would be removed by a police officer.
The other business item on the agenda would be a discussion of possible delegation traveling to Washington, D.C. to testify regarding H.R. 687.
“After the way Pinal County voted we have no choice but to send a delegation to Washington D.C.,” explained Councilmember Peralta and she made a motion to send a delegation to Washington D.C. The motion passed unanimously.
Peralta’s discussion was in regards to the Pinal County Board of Supervisors unanimous vote to approve a resolution of support for Resolution Copper.
Resolution Copper Communications Manager, Bruce Richardson issued the following statement regarding the Town’s decision:
“We are deeply disappointed in the Town’s actions. It represents a major setback to the progress we have made with the bill and the bi-partisan efforts of our Arizona delegation to move this land exchange forward. It also represents a setback to the good partnership and working relationship we have had with the town. We do not believe the Council’s decision reflects the voice of the majority of residents in the Town of Superior, whose livelihoods have depended on mining in the area for generations.
“We remain perplexed by the Town’s recent actions since the issues it raised concerning the language of the land exchange bill and the Mutual Benefits Agreement could easily have been addressed without terminating the agreement with us last month or by taking this even more divisive and destructive action. The Council’s decision is not constructive at a time when what is needed most is meaningful dialogue and helpful solutions.”
The Council did not disclose who they will be sending to Washington D.C. to testify on behalf of the Town.