The Hamilton County Election Commission, at the request of Commissioner Jerry Summers, has moved to a "moment of silence" instead of the long tradition of an opening prayer.
Chairman Mike Walden opened the Thursday morning meeting by asking a member to lead in prayer. At that point Mr. Summers, who is an attorney, asked that the commission move to the moment of silence instead.
He said it would be a saving to taxpayers not to be drawn into the prayer issue. The County Commission has been sued over opening prayers.
Chairman Walden and other commission meetings agreed to switch to a moment of silence.
At the meeting of the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority on Wednesday afternoon, Chairman Ed Watt opened with "a moment of silence."
On Tuesday night at City Council, where opening prayers are becoming few and far between, Councilman Manny Rico was determined not to have his turn skipped.
Chairwoman Pam Ladd opened the meeting, saying she would "ask Councilman Rico to pledge allegiance to the flag."
Often in the past, she has asked council members to lead the pledge as well as a prayer "if you so choose."
Councilman Rico proceeded to lead the pledge, then Ms. Ladd started into the regular agenda, saying, "You received a copy of the minutes. . ."
Councilman Rico said, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa."
She replied, "Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
Councilman Rico said, "I'm going to bless us. We need the prayers - trust me."
He then proceeded to deliver a prayer, ending by saying, "I ask this in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."