Sunday, February 5, 2023
Feb. 5, 2023

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Mielke outlines place for motto

'In God We Trust' could hang above county seal, he says

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The day after the Clark County council voted to post “In God We Trust” in the public hearing chambers, Councilor Tom Mielke floated a suggestion Wednesday for what the motto could look like once posted.

Mielke suggested “In God We Trust” could be displayed over the Clark County seal and motto — “Proud past, promising future.” Below, on the wood behind the desk, councilors could display the words “E Pluribus Unum” — “Out of many, one.”

His idea was sketched out on a scrap of paper and discussed during the board’s Wednesday meeting time.

“I like your chairs,” Councilor David Madore said with a laugh, pointing to the scrawled blue chairs Mielke had drawn.

The light atmosphere and laughter at the meeting seemed far removed from the four-hour public testimony the day before, and the three-hour public testimony on Feb. 10 over Mielke’s proposal to display the national motto in the council chamber. Dozens against the measure told the councilors again and again that they would feel ostracized by the display and divided over the religious message, while those in favor cited their own belief in God and a desire to honor the Founding Fathers.

The council voted two-to-one in favor of the resolution Tuesday. Councilor Jeanne Stewart cast the dissenting vote.

In other matters of interior decoration, Acting County Manager Mark McCauley provided mock-up copies of the Declaration of Independence to hang in the public hearing room. Madore directed McCauley to do so during board time on Feb. 11, a day after the original resolution to post the national motto failed due to the lack of a second.

McCauley also said he’s been discussing options with fellow staff members to work with local artists and organizations to create the “In God We Trust” sign.

The council did not make any decisions or outline a timeline for posting “In God We Trust,” or any other displays, in the public hearing room.

Mielke did not allow a Columbian reporter to take a photo of his drawing.

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