McIntosh Mirror: Reflecting news in the Tosh

Want to impact your community? Many of McIntosh's citizen boards have open seats and a council at a loss as to how to fill them.

Light-up McIntosh December 15

Light-up McIntosh will begin at the Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. The event will host Santa Clause and an area choir from six local churches will sing.

01.07.07 -- REPORT: Watchdog group seeks to end prayer at McIntosh town meetings


Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation in Madison, Wis, confirmed today that she sent a letter to the McIntosh Town Council on Jan. 3 on behalf of the foundation and anonymous complainants.

The same letter showed up on the community forum of this blog yesterday, though Gaylor did not post it.

Gaylor said she sent a copy to the complainants, who she refuses to name. She also declined to say the number of local complainants who might be involved. She said her foundation doesn't divulge names because the people who complain fear hate mail, reprisals and being ostracized in the community.

She said the results the foundation is hoping for is to raise consciousness about the Civil Rights law with the town council. The other goal is that the council stop reciting the Lord's Prayer before their meetings. She said that practice was "something that was on the way out."

Her other concern was that the council had imposed "a religious test" during an interview process. She said she hoped the council would respond to the letter after the town has had time to process it.

During a workshop meeting planning the hiring process for the next town clerk, McIntosh Town Council Vice President Howard Walkup said he didn't want to hire an atheist. Other council members informed Walkup what he was allowed to ask during an interview process and what he wasn't. Councilwoman Eva Jo Callahan drafted the questions that were directed to the final candidates.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation, a national watchdog organization, states on their Website that they litigate. Gaylor said that the foundation does not have any plans for McIntosh currently other than to ask the council for a response to her letter and cease reciting the Lord's Prayer.

"I am not threatening to sue the town," she said. "We do take lawsuits but we don't idly threaten lawsuits."

Gaylor said the foundation's current priority in Florida involve finding a plaintiff to join in a lawsuit against Dixie County for the Ten Commandment monument in front of the county courthouse. She said that case was "totally unreasonable" and said they were ready to sue when they found someone to join them.

posted by Cher @ 4:52 PM,


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Editor and Publisher:

I'm Cher From McIntosh, FL I'm a graduate student at the University of Florida working on a master's degree in Mass Communication. While I was finishing my undergrad degree in journalism last year, I reported on McIntosh, Fla. for an in-depth reporting class. I figured that the reporting and the public record files should go somewhere people can access them. Reporters don't report to keep the information they find to themselves. Some of that reporting is included here in a forum that allows response. McIntosh suffers because with no news coverage, the local government and the rumor mill have too much potential to run rampant over residents. I moved to McIntosh in the fall of 1999. My profile

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The primary purpose of this blog is to accurately reflect what happens in town public meetings and dispel rumors. I record the meetings and make them available for download. One of the goals of this blog is to offer residents a place to voice opinions. The comments, views and opinions expressed there are not necessarily those of the editor.

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