This is the APPLE Biter Blog, commentary and news on local religion and secular government.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Emails with City (Pcola) Parks Dept over Bayview Cross

I want to be clear that I attempted to speak with the City and work with them before going the legal route.  The messages below contain my requests, as well as both the responses I received from the City Park department.  I also sent other emails (without response), requesting a meeting and copying the the Mayor and City Attorney, with no responses.  

-----Original Message-----
From: "Brian Cooper" [bcooper@cityofpensacola.com]
Date: 07/02/2015 11:35 AM
To: "'wordsnmusic'" <wordsnmusic@excite.com>;
Subject: RE: meeting - re: Crucifix in Bayview Park

David,

Please see below as I have replied to your previous emails. 

The City of Pensacola owns Bayview Park. The amphitheater and accompanying features belongs to the City of Pensacola. All information related to this particular portion of Bayview Park, that we could readily put our fingers on, has been provided to the City Attorney's office in response to your public records request. 

Brian Cooper
Director
Parks and Recreation
City of Pensacola
(850) 436-5670
(850) 436-5199 FAX


-----Original Message-----
From: wordsnmusic [mailto:wordsnmusic@excite.com
Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2015 1:27 PM
To: Brian Cooper
Subject: RE: meeting - re: Crucifix in Bayview Park

Brian, 

Once again, I'm asking for a meeting. Since you are not responding, I assume you don't wish to meet.
So I ask this simple question. Please answer: WHO OWNS THE CROSS IN QUESTION? 

David

-----Original Message-----
From: "wordsnmusic" [wordsnmusic@excite.com]
Date: 06/24/2015 03:42 PM
To: "Brian Cooper" <bcooper@cityofpensacola.com>;
Subject: RE: meeting - re: Crucifix in Bayview Park

Brian, 

Thank you. I know about the public records request, as I made it.

I am asking to sit down with you simply to discuss the issue and to gauge the City's position. Instead of bringing the issue to public's attention or pursuing it through legal channels, I would like to give the City a chance to act voluntarily - out of concern for religious neutrality and church/state separation. To that end, I have some suggestions. I'm asking to open that dialogue first. Is that something you are willing to do?

Among my public records requests, I asked who owns this crucifix. My public records request (W000736-061615) did not return any results. I have called, but am unable to get a straight answer to this simple question. I don't want to assume the City owns the cross, just because it is on City property. So perhaps you can tell me - who owns the cross?

I am available by phone, but I would prefer an answer by email or in person.

David



-----Original Message-----
From: "Brian Cooper" [bcooper@cityofpensacola.com]
Date: 06/24/2015 09:53 AM
To: "'wordsnmusic'" <wordsnmusic@excite.com>;
Subject: RE: meeting - re: Crucifix in Bayview Park

David, 

The City is currently addressing this item through a public records request. I have assisted them by providing all of the details we have available in Parks and Recreation. 

Brian Cooper
Director
Parks and Recreation
City of Pensacola
(850) 436-5670
(850) 436-5199 FAX


-----Original Message-----
From: wordsnmusic [mailto:wordsnmusic@excite.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 4:43 PM
To: Brian Cooper
Subject: Re: meeting - re: Crucifix in Bayview Park

Mr Cooper, 

Did you received this message? Are you available to meet?

David

-----Original Message-----
From: "wordsnmusic" [wordsnmusic@excite.com]
Date: 06/14/2015 11:13 PM
To: "bcooper@cityofpensacola.com" <bcooper@cityofpensacola.com>;
Subject: meeting - re: Crucifix in Bayview Park

Mr Cooper,

May I meet with you in person to discuss the large crucifix in Bayview Park (near the boat ramp, picture attached)? I am concerned about its year-round placement on City property as a matter of church/state separation. I don't wish to create a public uproar or legal issue, so I am hoping we can reach a compromise that allows the crucifix to be erected whenever Christian religious services are at the nearby stage. Traditionally, that only happens on Easter. 

I am available most afternoons. I prefer to meet one-on-one, but if you feel you need an attorney present, I can enlist one as well.

David Suhor
850 512-2220

5 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Please note the distinction between a "cross" and "crucifix".

    "A crucifix (from Latin cruci fixus meaning "(one) fixed to a cross") is an image of Jesus on the cross, as distinct from a bare cross." - Wikipedia.org

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  3. Duly noted. My mistake. Nonetheless, both are clearly perceived as Christian symbols.

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  4. The proper term for a bare cross is "Latin cross", and so far as I'm aware, it has no recognized secular purpose on government property. That is, it is a religious symbol, and no reasonable person could interpret it otherwise.

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