Cross Issue Appears Far From Resolved
Neither Side Happy With Proposed Resolution
Friday, February 17, 2017 10:49 AM
The Defend Veterans Park group, via Facebook, is expressing displeasure with the changes the Belle Plaine City Council is proposing to make to the limited public forum resolution, final approval of which is expected to be voted on next Tuesday night.
One post states:
VERY DISAPPOINTED IN THE CITY!!: I have reviewed their proposed policy. It is a total joke and worse than a Nicolas Cage movie. It is written so we reject it and they can say they “tried”. Their Policy allows 18 monuments rather than the 5 we proposed. They are approved on a first come first serve basis with ZERO preference given to YOU the residents of Belle Plaine. Finally, the display must have liability coverage of $1,000,000 which coverage must list the City as an additional insured. $1,000,000 is more insurance than your average house has, more than your average life insurance policy, and an amount the Vets Club and your average individual resident can’t sustain. However, a large out-of-state group certainly could pay for that. I am hopeful that someone on the council will amend these items and then pass it as amended to more accurately reflect our original proposal. - Very disappointing, but we are not giving up. If passed as written Joe’s memorial won’t go back up.
Andy Parrish, a spokesperson for those seeking the permanent return of the cross, added that:
Here we go again... Join us at the Vets club on the 21st at 5:30 p.m. and then city council meeting at 6:30 p.m. I have a request into the city to speak again at the next meeting. I will let you know when they respond. I can’t go into the details but I semi-anticipated this and have a contingency plan to restore Joe’s memorial. For times such as these neighbors, you were made to be courageous. Please join us. - Andy
Meanwhile, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which demanded that the cross be removed from city property (Veterans Park) in the first place, is also not pleased with how the entire issue has played out so far.
In a letter from FFRF, Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert to Belle Plaine City Attorney Bob Vose dated Feb. 16, it states in the first sentence that:
In light of the city of Belle Plaine’s decision to open a “limited public forum” in its Veterans Park, our national organization, which works to protect the constitutional principle of separation from state and church, is considering its legal options including litigation in this matter.