Ward III Alderman Stephen Marshall motioned to reduce the scope of the Christmas resolution viewable by clicking on the link below. Marshall's mood was pentative as he expressed his desire to avoid a 3-3 split vote forcing the Mayor to break a tie. Marshall stated his intent in drafting the bill
Raeanne Presley said she was in favor of the proposed bill either way. Both her husband and daughter were present in the audience during public debate.
Ward III Alderman Dick Gass was silent on the topic and voted in favor of Marshall's motion to reduce the scope of the Christmas proposal to omit sections 2 and 3 of the proposal. Ward I Alderman Stan Barker voted in favor of the amendment.
Ward II Alderman Jack Purvis was unimpressed with the bill. Marshalls move to amend the bill was in line with Purvis's suggestion. Purvis has promoted the use of the religious communities assets to help the needy as a means to reduce burden on the taxpayers. From Purvis's perspective, the church has a responsibility when it comes to citizen welfare, perhaps more than the state.
Ward I Alderman Bob McDowell comes from a libertarian slant describing himself as a patriot and fan of limited government. McDowell says its the responsibility of government to keep an eye out for the few. An example McDowell gave (before he bought my breakfast) was slavery. There was a time in American when the majority of the public was in favor of slavery - that didn't make it right. For McDowell making these types of decisions presents a challenge.
A Sunshine request for the complete list of names was filed at city offices on Tuesday morning by the Branson Edge.
The public overwhelming supported the proposal. Phone calls made to city hall were in a substantially higher ratio than those opposing the legislation. Interestingly several callers voiced support over the Adoration Day Parade.
Citizen activist John Logan expressed his disrespect to the Alderman if their actions were the result of fear of a lawsuit brought forth by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). A couple alderman researched the proposal from a civil rights perspective and saw potential barrier and an unnecessary cost to the city.
But it wasn't the ACLU that made the difference for Purvis but rather the idea of the government dictating how individuals celebrate a holiday that he considers sacred.
Ward II Alderman Sandra Williams, known for her activism while she was employed by the city of Branson, was the sole voice against the Marshall-Purvis amendment to alter the initial proposal resulting in an exclusion of dictate to Branson businesses.
Logan and Purvis paired off after Logan dtated the fiasco provided great fodder for cartoon syndication. The idea of changing opinions out of fear of cartoon justice was offensive to Purvis who told Logan he didn't care what cartoons appeared in the paper. Purvis's response to Logan and the idea of an "intolerant" government is posted below SNL's unsigend editorial drafted by Tony Messenger.
The Springfield News-Leader who has taken an anti-Branson stance over the last couple of months published an editorial on the topic after running the comic posted above:
War on Christmas? Branson aldermen can stand down
There's no question which side Branson is on; aldermen can stand down.
We fully expect an announcement from Branson City Hall any moment now expressing the Board of Aldermen's support of puppy dogs. And children. And old people. Trees are nice. Oh, and Andy Williams. We mustn't forget him.
Things must be quiet down in Branson when the town leaders decide to waste time fighting another phantom battle in the War on Christmas. If there's one place in Missouri � make that the world � in which the so-called War on Christmas was long ago won handily by the pro-Christ bunch, it's got to be Branson.
Have you been to Silver Dollar City lately to see the lights?
Is there a more permanent Christmas ambassador than Williams, Mr. White Christmas himself?
Branson is so head-over-heels in love with Christmas it celebrates the holiday year round.
So why on God's green earth did the aldermen waste any time on a trumped up resolution this week declaring it's unbridled support for Christmas?
Because when you're fighting a fake war, you have to invent the front lines.
A few weeks ago, the aldermen were considering a resolution that not only supported the citywide Ozark Mountain Christmas celebration, but went further and encouraged all businesses to specifically put up Christmas decorations and "keep the word and spirit of Christmas" in Christmas.
Again, we must ask: Have the aldermen spent any time in their own city lately?
If Santa wasn't so happy at the North Pole, we're sure he'd relocate to Branson. In fact, last July, 300 of Santa's look-alike buddies held their annual convention in Branson. It was Christmas in July, literally.
So if there's one place in the world in which the town leaders should leave well enough alone, it's Branson.
But alas, those who bring you the War on Christmas wouldn't have a war without a little skirmish. So they developed a resolution that, if adopted, would have been akin to the city of Branson endorsing a specific religion. That's a constitutional no-no. And the city's attorney rightly advised the aldermen that they would be wise to scale back their official Christmas spirit. They followed his advice.
And thus, the fake War on Christmas goes on. The aldermen get their unnecessary Christmas resolution and Branson gets headlines for not quite being Christmasy enough.
War on Christmas
What a joke. What an utter waste of time.
The spirit of Christmas doesn't need resolutions. It doesn't need an official imprimatur from elected officials. It's alive and well in the hearts and minds of those who celebrate its giving and thankful season. No place in the world has as much Christmas spirit as Branson, and no silly vote by aldermen will add to that spirit or take it away.
John Logan published a comment to the Springfield News-Leader which we sydicated on Branson Agent.
Jack Purvis sent this message earlier today in a message titled Peace on Earth:
Just want to express my concern about the lack of tolerance in Branson.
Seems like at least one member of the press demands the full benefit of the 1st amendment but denies and threatens "cartoon
material" or no or low tolerance if you don't agree 100% with him. Whatever happened to THE right of freedom of expression?
I agree with you Darin, the dialogue was real and from this came the REAL intent of the "Resolution stating the support of the Board of Aldermen of the City of Branson to the celebration (Celebrants, my addition) of Christmas in Branson as part of Ozark Mountain Christmas."
"Merry Christmas, peace on earth,(and in Branson)and GOOD WILL TO ALL MEN (and all members of the media) AMEN!
Alderman Ward II
Click Here to View Christmas Proposal Link to PDF File of the initital resolution.