Every once in a while, you come across a politician who acts more like a dictator than a leader. The current occupant of the White House comes to mind.

Then we have this Colorado mayor who banned the Pledge of Allegiance at town trustee meetings and was met with defiance from those in attendance.

Shane Fuhrman

According to Shane Fuhrman the pledge has led to threats and community divisiveness:

“Due to direct and indirect threats, inappropriate comments in and out of public meetings, and the general divisiveness this is creating in our community, we will not be doing the Pledge of Allegiance during the town of Silverton board of trustee meetings, and it’s removed from agendas and our protocols until such time that we can discuss this at a board retreat or workshop.”

For the last few years, Silverton has seen an uptick in anti-patriotism within the city government. Of course, this creeping progressivism isn’t going off without a good bit of resistance from local citizens keeping their elected officials in check.

Fuhrman’s decision was met with immediate protest as Silverton Trustee Molley Barela interrupted the meeting to call out the mayor’s authoritarian approach. She then revealed that the mayor enacted the ban without consulting the board.

“We already discussed this as a board, and any other unilateral decisions we need to know about?” Barela asked the mayor.

“If you’d like to find somewhere in the code, something that doesn’t permit me to do this, then I welcome that discussion at our next meetings,” Fuhrman responded.

“It’s been done for a long time. We all took an oath, and we as a board we decided it would be done,” Barela said.

Fuhrman dismissed the conversation, enforcing his will and moving on to the next order of business. Unfortunately for him, those in attendance weren’t about to allow him to make such an agenda-driven unilateral move. When the floor opened for public comments, a woman used her designated time to initiate the pledge. Instantly, almost every person both on the board and in the audience stood, turned to the flag, and recited the forbidden pledge.

Watch it here: News 12AM/Youtube

Fuhrman can be heard attempting to interrupt the recitation but is easily overpowered as the people raise their voices even louder to drown him out. Clearly outnumbered, the mayor sheepishly sits and waits for them to finish the pledge. After patiently waiting until the pledge is over, Fuhrman timidly chastises the crowd and trustees who defied his orders.

When his hollow threat is met with laughter from the room, Fuhrman warns that “cackling” and other things like that” will result in offenders being asked to leave. However, enforcement of this “one-strike policy” would’ve meant that there would be no one left in attendance, including his own trustees.

Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first time citizens have taken issue with city officials and their lack of patriotism. A year earlier, citizens in another town complained after several new board members didn’t want to stand for the pledge.

“…members of the general population especially those who are veterans have been questioning why would you run for office and take an oath to uphold the laws of the United States of America the state of Colorado and the town of Silverton if you won’t stand for the pledge. Members of the public have told them that they should be ashamed of themselves,” Barela said.

Barela later explained that Fuhrman has made the issue a constitutional matter. She stated that prohibiting citizens from reciting the pledge during city meetings “violates every single one of their First Amendment rights.”

It is not the first time the Pledge of Allegiance has caused division in Silverton, a town of about 550 people in the San Juan Mountains.

In 2018, a Silverton resident nearly faced charges of harassment and menacing for verbally attacking a former trustee member who did not stand during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Since May 3, Fuhrman and another board member have remained seated during the Pledge of Allegiance, according to meeting videos posted online.

Monday night’s meeting was the first for Silverton’s newest town administrator, Gloria Kaasch-Buerger, who has worked as an associate coordinator for the Colorado City and County Managers Association. Silverton’s sixth town administrator in seven years resigned in February.

Sources: TapHaps, News Yahoo, Law Enforcement Today, The Durango Herald

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