The mayor of Silverton, Colorado, decided on Flag Day that the Pledge of Allegiance will no longer be recited at town trustee meetings, KDVR-TV reported.
His wishes were, however, met by a good dose of old-fashioned “Oh, yeah?" as the public stood up to recite it and only raised their voices higher when the mayor tried to interrupt.
What are the details?
According to KDVR-TV, Mayor Shane Fuhrman announced on June 14 that, “due to direct and indirect threats, inappropriate comments in and out of public meetings, and general divisiveness and issues created in our community, we will not be reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during Town of Silverton trustee meetings.”
The mayor did not give details about the threats and other factors, KCNC-TV reported.
Things didn’t stay like that, though. Right after the mayor’s statement, Trustee Molly Barela spoke out.
“We already discussed this as a board. Any other unilateral decisions we need to know about?” she asked Fuhrman.
“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,” was the mayor’s answer, according to KDVR.
Barela pointed out that the decision had been made without taking the board’s opinion into account.
“It's been done for a long time. We all took an oath, and we as a board decided it would be done,” she added.
What happened next?
When the time came for public comment, a woman got up and started to speak. And then she launched straight into the pledge. In just a few seconds several other members of the public joined her. They all stood with her, including at least one trustee, and recited the pledge.
The mayor tried to interrupt them, but that only made them raise their voices higher.
KDVR pointed out that Fuhrman threatened those reciting the pledge that they will have to leave the meeting if it happens again.
“Back in April 2020 when the newest board members were seated the mayor brought it up that he didn't want to do the Pledge of Allegiance anymore because it's not really a thing, it was a 4/3 vote that we continue to do it. By going back to in-person meetings it changes the dynamic compared to what was happening on Zoom. While on Zoom the three individuals who chose not to say the Pledge of Allegiance would just turn off their cameras.
Now that we've gone back to in-person meetings, members of the general population, especially those who are veterans, have been questioning why you would run for office and take an oath to uphold the laws of the United States of America, the state of Colorado, and the town of Silverton if you won't stand for the Pledge.
Members of the public have told them that they should be ashamed of themselves. 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. I don't know if it was premeditated to have it done on Flag Day.
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 is out policy,” was the statement issued by Barela on the matter, based on the KDVR report.
KDVR has attempted to contact the Silverton mayor to get more details about the issue but hasn’t heard back.