The mayor of Silverton, Colorado recently suspended the practice of saying the Pledge of Allegiance during board meetings, but attendees at a recent meeting disregarded his decision.
The story: Mayor Shane Fuhrman announced at Monday’s town trustee meeting that he is nixing the practice of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the meetings. He cited “direct and indirect threats” and suggesting that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance created “general divisiveness,” KDVR reported.
“Due to direct and indirect threats, inappropriate comments in and out of public meetings, and the general divisiveness this is creating in our community, we will not be doing the Pledge of Allegiance during town of Silverton board of trustee meetings,” Fuhrman stated.
The mayor did not elaborate on the threats and comments he mentioned in his remarks.
Town Trustee Molly Barela pushed back and questioned Fuhrman’s power to cancel the pledge. The mayor suggested there is nothing in the code that prohibits him from making the decision. He then said that if somebody wants to discuss it further they should put it on the agenda for the next meeting.
“We already discussed this as a board, and any other unilateral decisions we need to know about?” she asked the mayor.
“If you’d like to find somewhere in the code, something that doesn’t permit me to do this, then I welcome that discussion at our next meetings,” Fuhrman responded.
Later in the meeting, during the public comment period, one individual said they wanted to recite the pledge and were joined by at least two board members and several attendees in standing up and reciting it.
Fuhrman warned them that they were out of order.
“I’m not going to ask everyone to leave tonight but if something like that happens against, we will,” he said.
The clip of the attendees reciting the pledge was shared by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) who called on Fuhrman to resign.
The trustee who confronted Barela issued a statement, saying: “To tell members of the public they are not allowed to say the Pledge of Allegiance during public comment and threaten to have them removed that it was one strike in you’re out policy violates every single one of their first amendment rights.”
“I personally didn’t like his unilateral decision, when we as a collective group had already decided over a year ago to continue to do the pledge,” she added.
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