‘In God We Trust' proposal fails in Fountain Valley
A measure to display the motto in Fountain Valley City Council Chambers failed Monday night to get the three votes needed to pass.
By JULIE ANNE INES
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
FOUNTAIN VALLEY - A proposal to display the national motto “In God We Trust” in Council Chambers died Monday night after the measure failed to get the three votes needed for it to pass.
“People do not come here for the purpose of practicing their faith although they are free to do so if they wish,” said councilwoman Cheryl Brothers, who voted against the display.
“I believe that City Hall is where we do government's business in everyone's name,” she said.
Councilman Gus Ayer also voted against the proposal.
“This is not a place we should be discussing theology,” Ayer said.
Ayer and Brothers echoed what a majority of the speakers at the meeting said about the display, even though many letters and e-mails in favor of the motto had been received by city staff prior to the meeting.
“This is not a house of worship; this is a house of democracy,” said Stephanie Campbell, a resident of Costa Mesa and the president of the Orange County chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
In recent months, several Orange County cities have chosen to display the motto, including Huntington Beach, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Tustin, Cypress and Westminster.
The Villa Park City Council voted in April to let residents decide on the November ballot, while Los Alamitos has set a Wednesday deadline for resident responses to a survey about whether the city should display the motto.
Westminster was the first city in the county to adopt the motto, displaying the sign earlier this year behind the city dais.
Steven Schwarz, a member of King of Glory Lutheran Church, said at the Fountain Valley meeting that those who should find the display most objectionable should be Christians and other religious people.
He said such displays and other such secular uses of the word compromise the “integrity of the language of faith” by secularizing the word “god.”
Mayor Pro Tem Guy Carrozzo and Mayor John Collins voted in favor of the motto.
“I don't consider it to be theology professing,” said Collins, who even volunteered to pay for half of the cost of putting the motto up.
“It's part of our heritage,” said Mario Uribe of Fountain Valley.
Councilman Larry Crandall abstained from the vote, stating that what was proposed was too vague. He moved that the display of the motto be put on the agenda at a later meeting with more specifics of its location, its cost and what it would look like.
After the initial vote failed, Crandall reiterated his motion to discuss the display at another meeting.
His motion also failed, with Ayer, Carrozzo and Brothers voting against it and Collins voting in for it.
“I felt a little let down. It's there in the motto of the United States of America,” said Carrozzo, who originally proposed the display.
“We make the rules in here; we pass ordinances that are actually laws in here. It's appropriate,” he said.
Despite the results, city attorney Alan Burns said there's a possibility the item could come back at a later council meeting.
“I may come back with it again,” Carrozzo said.
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http://www.ocregister.com/articles/disp ... r-carrozzo
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