Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Ten Commandments To Be Displayed at Bloomfield City Hall
BLOOMFIELD A granite monument displaying the Ten Commandments will be placed outside Bloomfield's City Hall.
City councilors, who unanimously approved the monument in a special meeting Tuesday, cited it as a historical and artistic display.
Councilor Kevin Mauzy, who brought the idea to the council, said he'd seen such displays in various communities around the country.
''My goal as a councilor was to try to bring more art work and architectural displays to the public, and I think this will add to that,'' he said.
Councilors and a supportive crowd of more than 50 people discussed the historical significance of a monument for nearly half an hour before the council approved the idea to a standing ovation. No one spoke in opposition.
''I'm happy to see this as a proposal because it reflects our history,'' said retired history teacher Shirley Olbert. ''The Ten Commandments are basically a law of the land from a historical standpoint its what our founding fathers used to reflect a lot of their issues and our historical documents.''
The proposed granite sculpture will be about 4-foot wide and 6-foot tall and will cost $5,000 to $6,000.
It would be funded by private donations rather than the government.
''We want everyone to be able to be a part of it,'' Mauzy said.
Councilor Lynne Raner cautioned about the possibility that the display could become a legal issue.
''It would have to be separate from the city,'' she said. ''I just don't want this to become an issue where we forfeit our privilege to even pray before meetings because we are a community woven together by common beliefs.''
The council rejected a suggestion from City Manager Keith Johnson to delay a decision to give the city time to look into legal issues and his recommendation for a resolution explaining the display's historical significance. Councilors said an outside monument would be different from a display inside a government building.
''I think this monument can stand on its own in regard to legal issues,'' Councilor Lamar Morin said.
Last August, a federal judge in Oklahoma City ruled that a Ten Commandments monument outside a courthouse can remain. That county argued that the monument, which had the Mayflower Compact etched on the other side, was part of a historical display that including monuments recognizing war veterans, the Choctaw Tribe and others.
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