By Jessica Tuggle
VERO BEACH -- Proclamations authorized by the Vero Beach City Council may no longer be made to religious organizations.
After comments by the Vero Beach mayor and vice mayor in the June 4 council meeting about withholding their signatures from a proclamation based on personal convictions and the more than two weeks of backlash from the public for their remarks and attitudes, the Vero Beach City Council has directed the city attorney and city manager to bring back a resolution to codify the procedures for proclamation and invocations.
The resolution would include limitations on the types of organizations and the reasons for proclamations, and the reasons for invocations before council meetings.
Mayor Craig Fletcher and Vice Mayor Tracy Carroll came under fire for comments they made in a meeting about refusing to support a proclamation recognizing humanist's week in Vero Beach.
The mayor said he didn't want to support the proclamation based on a religious conviction and later apologized for his statements and has faced several calls for his resignation, including some at the June 18 meeting.
Several members of the public expressed their outrage at the "egregious" comments by both the mayor and vice mayor, casting doubt on the sincerity of their apologies and several pointed out their actions cast Vero Beach in a terrible light.
An invocation resolution will also be brought back before the council at the July 16 meeting at the recommendation of city attorney Wayne Coment.
According to Tammy Vock, city clerk, the city council has never had written policies on the invocation and resolutions.
The council voted 3-1 on this matter, with Councilman Jay Kramer absent and Councilman Dick Winger voting no.
"I wouldn't change what we are doing. I think it opens up a can of worms," Councilman Winger said.
For more information about upcoming city government meetings or to view agendas, visit www.covb.org.