Resolution to Accept Refugees in Idaho Town Doesn’t Sit Well

Resolution to Accept Refugees in Idaho Town Doesn’t Sit Well

At a city council meeting in Sandpoint, Idaho last Wednesday, townspeople crowded into a standing room only council chamber to voice their opinion to the council regarding a resolution to accept Syrian refugees.

Liberal Mayor in a Conservative area

The small city of Sandpoint has a population of around 8,000, and though it is sort of “granola” in nature, it is predominantly Conservative.  The new Mayor, Shelby Rognstad, citing the city’s reputation in past years as ‘racist’ and the Idaho Governor and Bonner County Commissioner’s stance against the refugees, said he wanted the resolution to show that Sandpoint was “tolerant and welcoming.”


The original resolution contained references to Nazi Germany, which angered one resident to the point that she stood up and said she couldn’t believe her own government would say such things about the citizens. The council moved to strike those comments from the resolution. But the original meaning, the thrust of the wording, was to welcome Syrian refugees to the small town if they were “properly vetted.” (Which we know is not possible).

resolution to accept refugees

Sandpoint, Idaho, a picturesque town on Pend O’Reille Lake in North Idaho

Major opposition

The majority of the people were opposed to the idea, only a small handful of obviously uninformed folks were for it.

KREM wrote some of the responses of the people:

“These people out here aren’t racists,” one speaker said, “they see what’s going on in Europe. They fear for their children,” he said as the crowd cheered. 

“We don’t know if these are terrorists coming in,” another woman said, “and that, I’m sorry, that scares the living hell out of me.”

The council had to ask people to refrain from clapping and cheering after every speaker. The meeting was so heated that the Council tabled the vote on the resolution until the next meeting.

Sheriff’s response

 Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler sent a letter to the council thanking them for tabling the vote.

“Just because a Washington website declares that people entering this country have been “properly vetted”, nothing could be further from the truth. The experience with recent terrorists and quotes from the President’s own administration contradict this notion. The vetting system is broken.”

Apparently this Mayor has never read even one article about what is happening in Europe or even in the United States. If Rognstad truly cared about the citizens of the community, he would be preparing to protect them, not place them at risk.  Suggestion: a massive recall petition.