Kenai Borough Assembly to consider eliminating religious invocation

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly voted to introduce an ordinance on Feb. 14 that would put an end to the invocation that begins each meeting.\

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South Peninsula representative Willy Dunne introduced the ordinance, which would modify Kenai Peninsula Borough code.

The ordinance cites the “emotional divisions in our community” the invocation controversy has caused.

It also points to the significant cost to taxpayers that may result if the current policy is maintained. The Kenai Peninsula Borough is currently involved in an ongoing lawsuit with the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska over the invocation policy.

The ordinance was approved for introduction in a 5 to 4 vote, with Assembly Members Stan Welles, Dale Bagley, Brent Hibbert and Paul Fischer voting against.

A public hearing on the proposed ordinance is scheduled for March 21.

Shahla Farzan is a reporter with KBBI - Homer.

Shahla first caught the radio bug as a world music host for WMHC, the oldest college radio station operated exclusively by women. Before coming to KBBI, she worked at Capital Public Radio in Sacramento and as a science writer for the California Environmental Legacy Project. She is currently completing her Ph.D in ecology at the University of California-Davis, where she studies native bees.

When she's not producing audio stories, you can find Shahla beachcombing or buried in a good book.

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