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Sample local DQ resolutions

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    Sample local DQ resolutions

    Jim Armstrong and John Lewis have drawn up and successfully passed (in Ashland/Catlettsburg, KY, and Bridgeport, AL, respectively) excellent pro-DQ local council resolutions. Jim's is attached below, and John will add his when he can.

    I am doing this both to praise their efforts and to provide a couple of templates for other city or county councils to work from. Sometimes, just seeing something in print can overcome a lot of personal and organizational inertia. I sent letters to Marietta officials two weeks ago and got a positive reply from the mayor, but nothing else happened. Then yesterday I e-mailed him a copy of John's resolution; within 15 minutes he replied to me that he had placed it on the agenda for Monday's city council meeting with his endorsement.

    I hope that these are useful to you. We need to mush along; yesterday the House website indicated that HR 2830 (Oberstar's Coast Guard bill) was to be reported out of the Homeland Security committee by Oct.1. I infer that it goes back to the full Transportation committee, then to the House floor -- maybe by mid-October? We should have support materials to our reps by then, if at all possible. Our friends (e.g.,Geoff Davis, KY 4th) will be offering a pro-DQ floor amendment to the bill when it comes before the full House, and we want them to have both ammunition and informed allies (no "Delta What?").

    A Resolution

    Of the Fiscal Court of Boyd County, Kentucky expressing the Sense of the Court and its Commissioners urging Congress to provide for the permanent exemption of the Steamer Delta Queen from the provisions of the Safety of Life at Sea Act of 1966.

    WHEREAS, The Delta Queen is an important part of the culture of the Ohio River region; and

    WHEREAS, She is a national treasure, being listed on the National Register of Historic places and is a National Landmark; and

    WHEREAS, The Delta Queen is a part of history. Literary people, theatrical people, rulers, and presidents have ridden on her. To board the vessel is like stepping back into time, and its beautiful antiques are museum quality; and

    WHEREAS, The Delta Queen is an original and the last of her kind, a work of art, a sternwheel overnight passenger steamboat like those that helped foster the westward expansion of our nation; and

    WHEREAS, The Safety at Sea Act was written to apply to ocean going vessels and assumes that ships are remote from land and other vessels. The Delta Queen can be landed in minutes over the entire route she traverses; and

    WHEREAS, The Safety at Sea Act requires inflammable material for the construction of boats, many layers of fire-retardant paint over the years as well as state of the art fire suppression systems protect the wooden superstructure of the Delta Queen well; and

    WHEREAS, The Delta Queen contributes economically to river communities. There are many employees on the boat itself, passengers who spend money in river towns and people on shore who support this boat, both within the corporate ownership and at third party companies providing amenities; and

    WHEREAS, It would be a travesty to restrict her travels and deny the public the opportunity to enjoy this uniquely American experience for many generations to come; and

    WHEREAS, The very existence of the Delta Queen is now threatened with the expiration of her exemption from the Safety at Sea Act in 2008:

    NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that this Fiscal Court and its Commissioners encourage the Congress of the United States to act with all due haste to provide for the permanent exemption of this magnificent vessel from the provisions of the Safety at Sea Act. The Fiscal Court Clerk of Boyd County, Kentucky is hereby directed to ensure delivery of copies of this resolution to all members of the Kentucky Congressional Delegation.

    Done at Catlettsburg, Kentucky this________day of ______, 2007.

    William Stevens, County Judge Executive

    Marvin Meredith, Commissioner

    David Salisbury, Commissioner

    Carl Tolliver, Commissioner

    Can you let us all know when the bill is due to come before the house, and its proper title/number so that we may urge our Reps. to vote for it?



      the first and most important issue at this time is to find representatives and senators who are willing to force the exemption for the DQ through in the committees or is willing to find an other way to get the exemption amended to a bill.

      Just waiting for the exemption to show up in the Congress will not solve the problem as someone has to actively bring it there first!

      To activate the representatives as soon as the exemption is up for vote in the full house oand/or senate is only the second step in the process. Be sure we'll everyone know when we have a bill number ;-)



        Bill number

        Hey, guys --

        Somebody is not understanding something here. We have a bill number: HR 2830. When it reaches the floor of the full House, a floor amendment will be offered to restore the DQ exemption (at least that's what Rep. Davis told Jo Ann Schoen). So we need to make sure that a majority of reps vote FOR the FLOOR AMENDMENT to HR 2830. To ensure that, we need to get resolutions passed by local councils and sent to their local reps NOW.

        If the floor amendment passes, then a pro-DQ HR 2830 goes to a House-Senate conference committee (leaving Oberstar fuming), where conferees iron out differences between the House and Senate bills. At that point, we should have done our Senate-side homework as well (that's another sub-issue -- I'll check out the Senate Coast Guard bill's progress and post what I find).

        At the level of the local resolution, it is sufficient that a pro-DQ statement like Jim's be directed simply to the locality's congressman and senators. Most of them are smart enough to make a connection between a pro-DQ resolution and a pro-DQ floor amendment.

        Dave V.


          Thank you. That was the information I was looking for.


            David, thank you for your sample resolution.

            I think, organizationally, we all need some clarification. Can responsible/knowledgable people please respond to these part-by-part:

            1. HR 2830 contains absolutely no text regarding the DELTA QUEEN, or it is at least inaccessible to the public.

            2. The current legislation concerning the DELTA QUEEN is Public Law 89-777, regarding liability and operation of vessels with wooden superstructures.

            3. PL 89-777 amends the SOLAS act.

            4. The DELTA QUEEN has continued to operate despite PL 89-777 due to temporary exemptions passed by the Congress.

            5. These exemptions are typically attached to larger pieces of pending legislation, rather than as a bill in and of itself.

            6. Our primary concern should be FIRST finding a member of Congress who will add another temporary exemption to an existing bill that will be sent to the floor. ONLY THEN, once it has passed, should our goal be proposing a permanent exemption.

            Please reply to this post on whether or not these statements are true. If not, please clarify what the case really is. Partly this is for my own sanity, but also because people have been asking me what exactly can be done and all I can say is to write their congressional representatives.

            Provided these statements are accurate, we need a COORDINATED effort to inform governmental reps. I received an email reply from Bruce Braley, D-IA 1st, stating that he was glad that I had brought this up and that he considers it an "important issue." Most important was the following passage:

            I am not currently aware of any legislation that deals with the Delta Queen and other steamboat vessels. Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind should the full House consider legislation that deals with the Delta Queen during the 110th Congress.

            Mounting a successful campaign requires that everyone be on the same page so there is no misinformation floating around. Let's make this work.


              Dear David, Hank, Franz, John & steamboating colleagues:
              The information you all have provided on this thread is pertinent and most timely Re: the DQ campaign. Many thanks! I got a friendly 'needle' yesterday following my posting on 'Forms of letters/E=Mail,' Protocol of address as not the point...too old fashioned. Sorry about that. I discussed my questions today in a luncheon meeting with an organizational colleague, lawyer, professor of law and Dean of Law, Emeritis here in Cincinnati. In reply to my question Re: letters on paper vs. E=Mails [As per the data on President Jimmy Carter] he related the following.

              *"The preference is always a 'signed letter' for official business. E=Mail is now ubituitous and may be introduced as evidence if the identity of the sender can be established by links to computer and other inferences of exclusive use. For practical day-to-day business, it is acceptable. E=Mails NEVER disappear! For convenience and prudence, people in government, business and certainly for court documents or IRS matters prefer hard copy [Paper]of documents and communications that can be authenticated. A simple E=Mail with complete signature is good for 'inference' of authenticity. If E=Mails are questioned there is the increase of transaction costs [Recipients time, clerical staff, research etc.] and attention to prove authenticity in a response." END

              Phone calls to offices of state house, congressional, corporate offices etc., are subject to being received by the right person, forwarded to the right person and a record kept by the right person. I attended hearings here in Ohio one time when the speaker put two piles of letters on a table. One a 'Yes' and the other a 'No' pile. He dramatically put a desk ruler beside the two piles with the 'Yes' being the highest and said, "What do you think?" It was humorous but got the point over clearly. Such communications either by paper letter or E=Mail can be considered a 'legal document' if required. The caution being, 'Think before you post or mail.'

              R. Dale Flick


                HR 2830

                Jon --

                Your points 1-4 are true. Point 5 has been true in the past, but it appears not to be the case this time around. My information (second-hand but from a highly reliable source) is that pro-DQ congressmen are planning a frontal assault on the issue, putting by floor amendment the DQ exemption into HR 2830, where it belongs (instead of hiding it as a rider to some popular but unrelated bill); thus, a new and improved HR 2830 will go to conference (rendering point 1 no longer true).

                Whether that is wise is beyond my knowledge; that simply is what Geoff Davis and others are planning to do. I guess that we have to trust the judgment of our allies in Congress, and not leave them hanging out there without our maximum support.

                As for point 6 -- it would be nice if our congressional allies were a bit clearer as to who will lead the charge. Those people we might assume could be lobbied in future years to push legislation to make the exemption permanent.

                Oh -- and ask Rep. Braley to huddle with Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN, an on-the-record DQ supporter).

                Dave V.


                  Regarding the reply from Mr. Davis - he says "I anticipate that an amendment may be offered on the House floor during consideration of H.R. 2830 to extend the Delta Queen's SOLAS exemption. You can count on my support for any such amendment".

                  He doesn't say he's the one sponsoring it. Is possibly Ms. Schmidt or Mr. Chabot from Ohio?

                  I feel like we're so in the dark on this, but when I've spoken to Representative's offices, it doesn't appear the aides know any more than we do and I've yet to have any one of those I've contacted call me back with concrete information!


                    My e-mail isn't formatted to transfer this directly as an attachment, so here's my own typed version of John Lewis's resolution:

                    A RESOLUTION

                    Be it resolved by the Mayor and City Council of the City of Bridgeport, Alabama, that

                    Whereas, the steamboat Delta Queen has been in operation [on the rivers of Mid-America] since 1947, and

                    Whereas, the steamboat Delta Queen is the last of the original overnight steamboats offering overnight passenger service to America, and

                    Whereas, the Delta Queen is the [second?] oldest paddle wheel steamboat in America, and

                    Whereas, the Delta Queen and its passengers contribute to the economy wherever it stops, contributing to the economy of the Municipality, the County, and the State, and

                    Whereas, if Congress should put the Delta Queen out of operation, it would be a great loss to the history of the United States of America as well as the economies of the areas in which it stops,

                    Now be it Resolved by the Mayor and the City Council of the City of Bridgeport, that we urge our Congress Member, the Honorable Bud Cramer, and all other Congress Members, as well as our Senators, the Honorable Richard Shelby and the Honorable Jeff Sessions, to do everything possible to keep the Delta Queen in operation, so that many future generations can see, ride, and enjoy a real steamboat from an era long gone by.

                    Adopted at our regular meeting, on this the 24th day of September 2007.

                    John Lewis

                    Attest: City Clerk


                      Who's on first....

                      Hi, Jo Ann --

                      Could I guess that Davis doesn't want to solo here, but is looking for co-sponsors? If our core group got together, each would risk less individually.

                      So far, our core group appears to include:
                      Davis (KY)
                      Chabot (OH)
                      Schmidt (OH)
                      Ellsworth (IN)
                      Whitfield (KY)
                      Berry (AR)

                      Did I forget someone? The Louisville guy? Could those of us in their districts suggest to them that they get together?

                      Dave V.


                        Add John Tanner, of Tennessee in favor of the exemption.

                        As I've said, I find speaking with the aides, not very productive. I hope others have better responses than I do. Just today John Yarmuth, Democrat,(first time Rep)of Kentucky, office back pedaled and would not confirm he was for the exemption. I have a two page letter ready to fax to his Washington office. I'm asking for a return phone call. We'll see.

                        Others from Louisville need to call and write immediately. His Louisville number is 582-5129. Washington address is 319 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515.