'In God We Trust' on courthouse debate continues

10:35 PM, Mar 11, 2013   |    comments
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Even though the Anderson County Commission voted to spell out "In God We Trust" on the courthouse last month, the debate continued Monday night.

Passionate people on both sides packed the operations committee meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to finalize details of the placement of the words and look at the legal issues they could face. But because both a handful of commissioners and the opposition say the vote was rushed and not everyone got to speak their mind at February's meeting, the committee chair allowed the discussion.

"I feel like the citizens were robbed of their input to let them know exactly how they felt. It was an overwhelming crowd of people who wanted it and I didn't get a chance to speak. I didn't know it was going to be voted on that night," said Joe Feeman, a Clinton resident.

"These commissioners gave the impression that it was handled wrongfully even though it was handled very legally," said Kelly Bates, a Lake City resident.

But no matter what was said in the heated discussion, there was no way the committee could change the vote.

After nearly two hours of comments, the committee voted five to three to place four panels above the entrances of the courthouse.

"It's just the right thing to do. It's our country's motto," said Robert McKamey, the commissioner who proposed the signage. He said it will cost about $500.

The "In God We Trust" signs will match the black and white signage that already exists around the the courthouse.

While the decision is final, the intent behind the words don't sit well with operations committee chair, Robin Biloski.

"We are not supposed to bring religion and government together. At our meeting in February, it did that all throughout the meeting," said Robin Biloski, the operations committee chair.

Biloski believes the legal troubles they may face in the future are going to be too much for the taxpayers to handle.

Law Director Jay Yeager told the commission that the motto is legal and will stand up in court. But he says the commission should use taxpayer money to pay for it-- not money from churches and commissioners who have volunteered to do it for free. Yeager said people could donate to a non-specific fund to help pay for it.

Biloski pointed out that they were also advised the jail needs an additional 41 employees that will cost around a million dollars. She doesn't think they need to be spending money on lawsuits with that addition on their plates.

 

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