City Council Meeting Update - 9.26.22

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

In a follow up to last week’s Mountain Home News Meeting Brief for the Sept 26th City Council Meeting story the following was reported by CBS2 on Wednesday Oct 5th.

“MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho (CBS2) — A concerned viewer contacted CBS 2 with concerns about a recent Mountain Home City Council meeting.

During the meeting on Sept. 26, council members were to provide a monetary payment of $5,000 to the Elmore County Domestic Violence Council, which provides emergency shelter assistance to women and children.

Council Member Daniel Brennan motioned to withhold the payment because of what he said were concerns from "numerous citizens" about the organization providing shelter to those who identify as a female.

The viewer who reached out to CBS 2 had concerns about Brennan's comments and asked us to look into them.

In a written statement, Brennan told us "The Evans Harmony House is a secure facility to keep women and children safe... (per their website). Understanding that this is a shelter for women and children, I wanted to make sure that they are not housing adult biological males with biological women and children at a time in which they are most vulnerable."

During the meeting, Brennan made three motions. The first motion involved withholding the payment due to the citizens' concerns, the second motion involved tabling the discussion until the councilors could hear from the director of the Elmore County Domestic Violence Council, and the third motion involved tabling the discussion indefinitely. None of the other council members seconded these motions.

The council's lawyer said that making a decision based on providing money to solely woman and children, not those who identify as woman, is discrimination.

Council President Brad Stokes motioned to approve the payment and council member Becky Garvey seconded.

"My motions were an attempt to learn more about the shelter's safety procedures. Ultimately, the remainder of the Council members decided to trust the unknown practices and procedures of the shelter rather than verify the same at the time of our vote," Brennan said.

CBS 2 also reached out to the other council members for their response. “

In a statement, Garvey said "I feel as a council person our personal opinions should not have any basis of giving grant money to organizations in our community such as the Domestic Violence Group. As a city we should not get involved in their operations, if they have issues in the shelter whether it be a disgruntled mom, child, or man identifying as a woman the shelter has staff who are well trained to handle these situations. I feel it is important as a city to support their needs and trust in their management to operate in a safe manner."

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