Councilmembers Peggy Allgood and Ken Landers along with Mayor Rob Ware gathered Monday for a scheduled work session that turned into an informal meeting because a quorum wasn’t met. The Lord’s Prayer was the first agenda item on their list.
According to Ware, councilmembers voted at their last meeting to say the prayer at council meetings.
“Because of all the controversy surrounding prayer and religion, I wanted to talk about that a little more,” Ware said.
City Attorney Zach Burkhalter said the law restricts what prayers can be said at a council meeting, though it doesn’t prohibit all prayers from being spoken. The Lord’s Prayer, however, is one that cannot be recited.
“You can have a prayer at a council meeting. It just has to be a more generic-type thing,” Burkhalter said.
Allgood said the local governments of Rome and Cedartown both open their meetings with prayers. She suggested pastors at one of Cave Spring’s six churches take turns saying the prayer at meetings – a proposal Ware liked.
City Clerk Judy Dickinson will contact local ministers and arrange the prayer schedule.
In other matters, the council:
- Discussed getting an estimate for renovating Fannin Hall and other historic buildings in the city. Ware said that he, Dickinson and Landers have already met with Premier Construction Associates of Dublin. If chosen, the firm would determine each buildings’ particular issues, interview the council and help it prepare for an upcoming special purpose, local option sales tax committee meeting.
- Examined the pending alcohol licensing for a new steakhouse. Linde Marie’s Steakhouse on the Square will be on Broad Street in downtown Cave Spring.
Officials also discussed the possibility of Dollar General selling alcohol. Dickinson said the chain is looking at its Georgia locations to determine which should sell alcohol, though it hasn’t made any moves to obtain licensing in Cave Spring.
Burkhalter said the city’s alcohol ordinance likely is too burdensome for the chain.
Ware said the council would make no changes to its alcohol ordinance.