November 28, 2007

Fort Collins Holiday Display Resolution Still Lacking

The Fort Collins menorah/Christmas tree/holiday lights saga is still unresolved, according to one Fort Collins Councilman:
Though a Fort Collins City Council vote last week ended a months-long discussion regarding holiday decorations on city property, one councilman said the initial question of menorah placement still has not been answered.

Councilman Wade Troxell circulated an e-mail to other council members and staff saying the city had not satisfied the need for an inclusionary city square open for free religious expression and that it should scrap parts of the plan the council adopted 6-1.

Troxell said the council needed to work with Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik — whose denied request to place a menorah marking Hanukkah on city property two years ago sparked the debate — to integrate a menorah with the traditional Christmas display.

Troxell cast the lone dissenting vote Nov. 20 to the proposal that maintained traditional, secular Christmas symbols such as decorated trees and colored lights on city buildings. It also created a display for next year on the Fort Collins Museum property that could have religious symbols such as the menorah.

"The museum display isn't inclusionary at all. It's a perversion of inclusion," he said. "It will be developed by city workers, which isn't an expression of faith. It's an interpretation."
As with any bureaucratic/governmental solution, the results are often incomplete, inadequate, and dissatisfying. The requested menorah that sparked this unnecessary controversy is still at issue--and was the primary reason for this councilman's no vote.

Previous coverage of the Fort Collins holiday display "task force" debacle here.

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