Posted: 1:51 p.m. Monday, July 28, 2014

Pierce County committee votes 3-0 to send 'In God We Trust' to council vote

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Jim McCune photo
Credit: Pierce County
Jim McCune

By Joanna Small

TACOMA, Wash. —

A Pierce County council committee decided Monday morning the entire council should vote on adding four controversial words to its building -- "In God We Trust." 

The vote will happen Tuesday at 3 p.m.

 The proposal passed the Rules and Operations committee 3 to 0, but there was still debate; it just didn't come from the three people on that committee.

The two people going to head to head over four little controversial words didn't have a vote this morning.  Both Jim McCune -- the council member behind "In God We Trust"-- and Connie Ladenburg --  the council member adamantly against it-- were just there to sway votes.

"It's not representative of all our constituents, all of our residents,” Ladenburg told the committee.

"It doesn't have in Mohammed we trust, it doesn't have in Jesus we trust, so it's pretty much universal,” McCune said of his proposal.

 It turns out there wasn't much swaying to do.

"I'm actually very puzzled that we have a controversy brewing here,” said committee chair Dan Roach.

All three of the Rules and Operations committee members said they feel strongly there's no issue with doing county business while adhering to the motto "In God We Trust."  McCune argued it's a growing national trend we should be a part of.  He said nearly 400 counties and cities across the country have added these words somewhere in their buildings.  It just hasn't happened in Washington.

 "I have absolutely no problem with our national motto, and I have no problem with a small plaque being somewhere in the council chambers,” explained committee member Joyce McDonald.

All but one member of the public who weighed in at today’s meeting agreed.  But the committee members admitted emails with other constituents were very divided.  They say that's part of the reason full council should make this decision, which means McCune and Ladenburg will get more than a voice -- they'll get a vote.

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