"The Fresno City Council last month endorsed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, making Fresno the first central San Joaquin Valley city to embrace the brief document that already has the support of 275 (sic) American mayors.
There's one problem: Fresno Mayor Alan Autry has not signed on. And that leaves city officials struggling to figure out what the council's action means."
The nonbinding agreement challenges mayors to get their cities to voluntarily meet pollution-fighting goals based on the Kyoto Protocol. The Clinton administration signed the protocol, but the U.S. Senate has not ratified it, and President Bush opposes the treaty.
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels is spearheading support for the agreement."
"Autry, a Republican, says he is not bound by the council's action because it's not city policy. He says he neither signed nor vetoed the resolution because the agreement was born out of political opposition to President Bush at a U.S. Mayors Conference last year. Nickels is a Democrat."
"As a form of protest, I'm not going to sign off on [the council resolution], but I'm not going to veto it because there's a lot of good stuff in there," Autry says.
"City Attorney James Sanchez says it's too early to predict the agreement's legal significance, saying the answer will have to be "fleshed out on a case by case basis.
But Council President Jerry Duncan, who voted no in the council's 5-1 decision July 18, says he fears environmental groups will use the resolution to launch "frivolous lawsuits" against the city. Council Member Henry T. Perea was out of town the day of the vote."