Yucca Valley, Ca.,- The Yucca Valley Town Council will present a Resolution on Tuesday, January 22, 2013, to codify and spell out their policy on invocations at their meetings, agenda item #13. The meeting starts at 6pm and is held at the Community Center.
Without any public hearing or discussion, this Resolution appears on the Agenda without any discussion of the elected Town Council members on this subject. Are we to assume this has been discussed with the Town Council and Staff behind closed doors? As is Nuaimi’s “Serial Meeting” style, the public is once again being denied the opportunity to hear from our elected Council Members about their concerns on this matter. This lack of transparency is troubling especially since three of the four Councilmen worship at the same church as do several Staff members. Nuaimi’s Management Style- link.
This complex and lengthy Resolution,placed on the agenda without a public hearing or any public input, was written by the Town Attorney citing several court cases. The Resolution is not marked “Draft” therefore is it is a done deal as written? Who authorized this expenditure and what are the total Staff and Attorney costs?
The Resolution “Congregations List” spells out Yucca Valley Religious leaders and creates a loophole on item 3 (c) to include “Chaplains” who serve the Fire Department, Sheriff’s Department or any nearby military facilities. This special paragraph will allow volunteer “Ride-a-Longs” who are not ordained or do not preach to give the invocation.
Where is the diversity to allow a buddhist monk to chant or allow other religions as: Atheism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism,Paganism, Jainism, Zoroastrian? Having studied Comparative Religions at Cal State Long Beach, I assure you there are several other recognized religions.
Beginning on Stamp page 116, (computer page 128 0f 139 pages), the Staff reports indicates this item was requested by council to be placed on the agenda. Councilman Dawn Rowe cited the recent controversy surrounding a motivational speaker at a high school. The Staff report reports recent correspondence to the Town on invocations, which was not provided in the full packet agenda. Agenda link.
The Hi-Desert Star article November 1, 2012, “School calls Religious Comment Inappropriate,” reports, “An assembly last Wednesday by a motivational speaker at Yucca Valley High School has generated discussions about free speech and religion at public schools.
The controversy is over Bob Holmes, a traveling “one man volleyball team” with messages for high school students about suicide, bullying, drug abuse and other subjects.
The high school posted a comment about the assembly on their website:
“During the assembly, there was a personal comment expressed by Mr. Holmes regarding his religious beliefs. The personal comment was inappropriate for the nature of the assembly, and his statement is not endorsed by Yucca Valley High School, its administration, or the Morongo Unified School District.” Hi-Desert Star Story link
The Yucca Valley Town Council minutes for 2012 show the following men gave the invocation before the meetings:
03-06-2012 – Pastor Jerel Hagerman, Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel
03-20-2012 – Mike Yost, Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel
04-03-2012- Mike Yost, Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel
04-17-2012- Chaplain Mike Kelliher, Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel
05-01-2012- Chaplain Mike Kelliher, Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel
05-15-2012 -Pastor Chris Wagner, Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel
06-05-2012 -Chaplain Mike Kelliher, Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel
06-26-2012- Pastor Chris Wagner, Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel
07-24-2012 -Pastor Chris Wagner, Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel
08-07-2012 -Chaplain Mike Kelliher, Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel
08-21-2012- Pastor Tom Aversa, Valley Community Chapel
09-18-2012 -Pastor Bob Wagner, Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel
10-02-2012 -Pastor Jerel Hagerman, Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel
10-3–2012 -Pastor Chris Begnaud, Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel
(No prayers are offered up at Parks & Rec meetings,Planning Commission meetings or Joint Council/Planning Commission meetings)
Margo Sturges Author link