Fairview council debates Pledge of Allegiance protocol
Even though a motion to officially add the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance to Fairview City Council meetings did not pass, the oath will still be recited to start each meeting.
The resolution to add mandatory recitation of the pledge failed on a 3-3 vote at the council's meeting on Wednesday evening, April 3. Passing a motion in Fairview requires a majority vote.
Had the ordinance carried, it would have required all council meetings to begin with the pledge. However, according to the Fairview City Charter, the mayor sets the agenda, and the decision to recite the oath is under the city leader's purview.
And Mayor Brian Cooper plans to keep the Pledge of Allegiance in council agendas anyway.
"We are continuing with the pledge, but we are not putting it into an ordinance," Cooper said.
Councilors Natalie Voruz and Cathi Forsythe lobbied to add the pledge as part of the council's official agenda after Cooper removed it from meetings on Jan. 2 and Jan. 16 without advanced discussion.
Cooper originally nixed the pledge because it was implemented by a former mayor in 2005 without council deliberation. Cooper wanted to create a dialogue before making any decisions about the issue.
Fairview Councilor Mike Weatherby joined Voruz and Forsythe in voting in favor of the ordinance.
At a previous meeting, Voruz stated that removing the pledge took away her patriotic right to pay respect to the flag. At the latest meeting, she said adding it as an official ordinance would have made it a council decision, rather than leaving it up to the mayor's discretion.
"This makes it the choice of the council, and another council could go back and change it," Voruz said.
Councilors Keith Kudrna, Darren Riordan and Cooper disagreed, and they supported the less formal option.
Kudrna supported reciting the pledge to open meetings, but he felt passing the ordinance would have been a bit heavy handed.
"It's kind of like bringing a hammer when a fly swatter would do," Kudrna said.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.