By a unanimous decision, the Troutman town board has agreed to add the motto “In God We Trust” to the outside of the town’s municipal building.
The May 14 vote came at the request of the U.S. Motto Action Committee’s co-founder, Rick Lanier, who previously served as a commissioner in Davidson County.
Lanier formed the committee in 2002 to promote patriotism by encouraging elected officials to display “In God We Trust” on governmental buildings. Gaston County commissioners recently voted to put the motto on the county courthouse.
“Displaying the motto gives ceremonial honor to public occasions and expresses confidence in our society,” Lanier said.
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No one spoke against the proposal at the town board meeting.
In 1956, during the Eisenhower administration, Congress adopted “In God We Trust” as the official national motto of the US. Lanier believes this gives his movement First Amendment protection.
Town officials said they did not expect a legal challenge to the proposal.
“Since we started our committee, not one legal challenge has been raised against any municipality that has voted yes,” Lanier noted.
The funds to cover the cost of installing the motto will come from private donations to Lanier’s committee. Town officials are considering several locations on the front of Town Hall on Eastway Drive where the motto would be highly visible.
Also at the May meeting, the town board tabled a proposal from the Centralina Council of Governments to conduct an $11,800 organization and staffing study. Such a study was labeled as a high priority during the town board’s retreat earlier this year, but the members want more time to digest the proposal.
“We just received the details this evening,” said Town Board member Paul Henkel, “and I’d like some more time to review this and discuss it with my fellow members.” His motion to table was approved by a 4-1 margin.
In addition, Town Manager Ann Bailie released the details of the proposed $4.45 million 2015-16 budget. As expected, the spending plan calls for no increase in property taxes or sewer rates, and no cuts to any town services or programs.
The budget includes a 2 percent water fee increase, while at the same time a $2 monthly fee for water customers who live outside of the incorporated town limits would be eliminated.
A $4 monthly trash charge imposed on business customers would also be dropped.
Dave Vieser is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Dave? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The proposed budget can be downloaded for review on the town’s new website, www.troutmannc.gov.
A public hearing on the budget will be held at 7 p.m. June 11 at Town Hall.