South Connellsville decides against Ten Commandments monument at honor roll
By Mark Hofmann
Published: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, 6:30 a.m.
Almost a year after the ongoing controversy surrounding the Ten Commandments monument started in Connellsville, South Connellsville council made a decision about an offer to place a monument in the borough.
During Monday's regular meeting, Councilman Clyde Martz said he received communication from the Rev. Ewing Marietta, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church, about placing a Ten Commandments monument at the South Connellsville Honor Roll.
Marietta is also an organizer of Thou Shall Not Move, a group that was formed after a legal battle over a Ten Commandments monument at Connellsville Junior High School. The monument has been at the school for more than 50 years.
In 2012, an anonymous student and parent, along with the Freedom From Religion Foundation, filed a lawsuit, which seeks the removal of the monument from school district property. The district is fighting its removal.
Thou Shall Not Move has raised money to help fight the legal battle and to place monuments in front of different locations in the area.
South Connellsville had to vote on placing a monument at the honor roll, a borough-owned property.
“We were advised by our solicitor to definitely not do that,” Martz said, adding the advice came from the fact that the issue has not been resolved with the school district in their ongoing legal battle and it would mostly likely end with a lawsuit against the borough. “That will put the borough in risk that we don't need at this time.”
Council unanimously voted against placing the monument at the honor roll. Council President Mark Ward did not attend Monday's meeting.
“I don't want to see them put one up there and then have it boarded up,” Martz said.
Councilman Guy Napolillo said the whole situation was “a sad state of affairs.”
However, council asked Don Ringer, president of South Connellsville Volunteer Fire Department, if it would consider having a Ten Commandments monument in front of the fire hall, since the monument would be seen by more people at that location.
Ringer said he was never approached by anyone about placing a monument there, but it would be considered.
In other business:
• Resident and South Connellsville VFD Chief Steve Helms again approached council about the alley behind his house along Painter Street where he said vehicles drive through at speeds between 45 to 50 mph.
He said his four children are getting older and if they would happen to be playing outside and a ball goes out onto that alley and they go out there, they wouldn't stand a chance.
Martz said they will look into placing both speed bumps and a stop sign in the alley.
• Another resident had concerns about a quad speeding through an alley behind First Street and that has been going up and down the alley four nights in a row, including before Monday's meeting.
• Napolillo reminded residents with flood damage that Sept. 16 is the last day to apply for a disaster loan through the Small Business Administration. FEMA rejected the borough's request for funds after heavy rains caused significant damage to residents in July. Those interested may call 800-659-2955, email email@example.com or visit the website at www.sba.gov
• Council announced a car show on Oct. 12; tar and chipping to start on either Friday or Monday; fall cleanup on Oct. 9; and Community Yard Sale on Oct. 5.
Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Smithfield man shot after fleeing traffic stop
- Choral concerts planned in Dawson church
- UFO, Bigfoot encounters to be discussed at Connellsville library program
- Masontown girl pulls off heroic task at state farm show
- Connellsville community center enjoying rebirth
- Cause of Republic blaze under investigation
- Dawson mayor, CSX aim to repair railroad crossing at intersection
- Mt. Pleasant man charged in 2 Connellsville robberies
- New Haven Hose Company awarded $25,000
- Juveniles waive charges to Fayette court in Connellsville Township assault/robbery
- Curfew concerns presented to Connellsville mayor