Recent citizen allegations that the City of Murrieta is involved in a treaty with the U.N. are unfounded, city officials said.
During a , the Temecula Murrieta TEA Party claimed Murrieta's membership in ICLEI Local Governments For Sustainability USA was tied to United Nation's Agenda 21, a global initiative formed decades ago to shape sustainability in the 21st century.
City Manager Rick Dudley said Murrieta's membership in ICLEI came about to adhere to California law.
"It's much ado about nothing," Dudley said in a phone interview Thursday. He said he was "flabbergasted" at the connection some citizens are making.
"(ICLEI) is not affiliated or under the U.N.," Dudley said.
The city joined ICLEI in 2009 as it began the process of updating its General Plan, according to Dudley. The state requires certain elements to the plan, one of which is conservation.
For its conservation element, the city is required to submit how it will address biological, cultural and energy resources, solid waste reduction, sustainable development and green building, according to the city's General Plan website.
Under Assembly Bill 32--the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006--the state seeks to cut its greenhouse gases tremendously by 2020. Another piece of legislation, SB 375, monitors local air quality.
"You have to include a greenhouse gas emissions plan," Dudley said. Joining ICLEI provided resources to fulfill those requirements, he said.
Instead of spending $18,000 to $20,000 to get information needed to lay out its conservation plan, staff opted to join ICLEI for $1,750. The membership gives the city access to the organization's sizable resources, he said, and saves thousands of taxpayer dollars, Dudley said.
City Council never voted on joining the organization, as it was a staff matter--a matter of saving money--he said.
Dudley said the city's membership in ICLEI was for those purposes, and that council members do not attend conferences put on by the organization.
City Council members reiterated Tuesday that the city's membership in ICLEI was to adhere to California law, and refuted a citizen's claim that they had committed treason by joining the organization.
Mayor Pro Tem Doug McAllister said making the connection was like saying one plus one equaled seven.
"The fact that the City Council is implementing (these) measures has nothing to do with whether we disbelieve or believe in global warming," said Councilmember Rick Gibbs.