At the Feb. 25 Ada County Highway District meeting, commishes will consider the Boise City “Hockey Puck” parking meter issue and a proposed resolution to offer local “religious leaders” a chance to perform an invocation prayer to open their deliberations.
The hockey pucks are old news–Boise wants to embed devices in the pavement to erase parking meter time if a vehicle leaves a spot.
The news event will be how the five members vote on the prayer proposal. The ACHD legal counsel has offered up an opinion regarding prayer at the open meetings. The short version is the U.S. Supreme Court has previously ruled that as long as ALL religions are offered a chance at the public pulpit, it’s OK.
The staff came up with three choices:
1–Adopt the proposal
2–Reject the proposal
3–Adopt a policy to provide a moment of silence
The six pages of background and the resolution itself contains a sample invitation which will be offered to all faiths and denominations to pray “according to the dictates of your own conscience.” The invite warns to not use the prayer opportunity to disparage any faith or attempt to convert.
These things can be humorous and amusing. Boise City Councilors open with a prayer and former Councilor Alan Shealy was known for standing, but not closing his eyes or bowing his head during the prayer, much to the disgust of fellow councilor Vern Bisterfeldt.
When asked how HE knew Shealy didn’t close his eyes during the prayer since he (Bisterfeldt) claimed to observe the practice by closing HIS eyes, Bisterfeldt responded, “I caught him on the video!”
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