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Commissioners Criticized Again Over Opening Prayers

The decades-long tradition of opening meetings of the Fremont County Board of Commissioners with an invocation came under criticism again at the September 27th commissioners’ meeting.    Cañon City resident Karen Hunter, who previously took exception to opening meetings with Christian prayers, accused the board of discrimination.   Hunter argued that the county does not comply with the establishment clause of the constitution saying that her research showed that only Christian clergy ever offered a prayer at commissioners’ meetings.

When the board reinstated the invocation following Hunter’s complaints several months ago the Board said any clergy of any denomination is welcome to offer the opening prayer and that the county does not discriminate against any particular religion.    Hunter disagreed in her remarks at the meeting saying further that she has been discriminated against as a non-Christian, as a medical marijuana provider, and as a woman.  Hunter finished her remarks saying “I demand that you cease and desist with your prayer and any idea that discrimination is appropriate in your ordinance writing”.

The Board of Commissioners also approved six change orders for the renovation work underway by Nunn Construction in the Fremont County Jail kitchen and laundry areas.   Three change orders added $16,812 to the cost of the project but two other change orders actually reduced the renovation cost by $23,127.    The net of the six change orders was actually a reduction in cost of $6,315.

In other business at the brief meeting the Board of Commissioners:

  • Reappointed Leonard Mino and Tom Schilf to three year terms on the Fremont County Airport Advisory Committee;
  • Approved a lease agreement for a helibase office space on a lot at the Fremont County Airport with the Colorado Department of Public Use where a modular unit will be set to house the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control;
  • Approved a new hotel-restaurant liquor license for My Sister’s Place restaurant at the corner of US Highway 50 and County Road 3A at the turnoff to the Royal Gorge;
  • Appointed Blaine Heckart to fill a vacancy on the Fremont County Tourism Council;
  • Approved the Moose Point minor subdivision creating two lots on a three acre area on the east side of Locust Street just north of the junction of Highway 115 in the Lincoln Park area.