November 11th, 2015 • iizthatiiz
Fearing litigation from the atheist group Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the City Council of Knoxville, Iowa voted 3-2 on November 2nd to remove a Veterans memorial from a public park.
The memorial was placed in Youngs Park by Post 63 of the American Veterans organization.
Mayor Brian Hatch supported the council’s vote,”Our job here as communities leaders is to minimize our risk” adding, “we didn’t feel it was appropriate to risk potentially millions of dollars.” Hatch himself doesn’t participate in council votes.
Knoxville council members David Roozeboom, Carolyn Formanek, and April Verwers all voted to remove the memorial from the park. Dawn Allspach-Kline and Tim Pitt both voted to allow the memorial to remain.
One day after the Council voted to remove the Veterans memorial, election day came to Knoxville, Iowa.
Both Carolyn Formanek and April Verwers were voted out of office by city residents. The two incumbents who had voted to oust the memorial from Youngs Park were defeated. David Roozeboom, the third Council member voting against had declined to run for reelection. Mayor Hatch ran unopposed for reelection.
Newly elected Council member Rick Kingery told WHO-TV, “I think it’s been a rallying issue that folks have all come together to support. If you look around town, there’s crosses in quite a few yards … We had about 2,500 people here for the rally. Had quite a few show up for a city council meeting to discuss it too. So, I think if that many people come together for a cause, you probably need to listen to them.”