City Reviews Adding Prayer

February 27, 2007

Author: ELLYN PAK and AMY TAXIN

Source: Orange County Register

http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/news/local/article_1591687.php

VILLA PARK - A question of whether to perform invocations at City Council meetings has stirred up debate in this small town.

Unlike neighboring cities, Villa Park has left out prayers at its official gatherings for decades. Former city leaders occasionally brought up the issue but never changed the way the meetings were structured. Recently, the City Council resurrected the issue, leaving city officials and residents debating whether religion and government should intermingle.

"I think it's important (to have an invocation)," said recently elected Councilman Brad Reese. "It sets a tone. As long as it's fair to all, I don't see anything wrong with it. I just think it's the right thing to do."

The council, which has three newly elected members, will discuss the issue Tueday and decide if Villa Park should join the more than two-thirds of Orange County cities that hold an invocation or moment of silence at council meetings.