Ohio Mayor Vetoes City Council Prayers

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Shelby, Ohio (AP) -- A mayor has vetoed a proposal that would have required a city council in Ohio to start meetings with a prayer.

Shelby mayor Bill Freytag told the council in an e-mail that he took the action Wednesday on the advice of the city's law director, who felt the ordinance was unconstitutional.

The measure was approved 3-2 earlier this month by council members in the city of 49,000 about 65 miles north of Columbus.

Supporters pointed out that the Ohio legislature and the U.S. Congress open sessions with a prayer.

The mayor noted that the proposal had been the subject of much debate and had resulted in numerous phone calls and letters to his office, some from outside the area.

The city council may try to override the veto, which would require a vote of 4-1.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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