Las Vegas Mayor Tony Marquez’s newest proposal may have a prayer.
For years, the City Council has called for a moment of silence near the beginning of meetings. Now, the mayor wants a prayer and invocation in addition to the moment of silence.
The council’s agenda for last week’s meeting included the prayer, but Marquez said he wanted the council to vote on the issue before it begins its public prayers.
City Manager Timothy Dodge said only two New Mexico cities have prayers during meetings — one of them being Clovis.
None of the other local governing bodies — the County Commission and the boards for the East and West school districts, Luna Community College and Highlands University — have prayers during their sessions.
In 2005, then-Councilman Marquez proposed the council include prayers during meetings, but his colleagues voted against the idea, citing the wall between church and state.
Only one other councilman at the time supported Marquez’s prayer proposal, Arthur “Castro” Vigil, who then told his colleagues, “We’ve got a bunch of atheists on the City Council.”
Voting against the proposal were Cruz Roybal, Louie Trujillo, Eugene Romero and Michael Montoya. Michael Gallegos and Macario Gonzalez abstained.
The only one still on the council is Roybal.
Montoya at the time said he appreciated Marquez’s good intentions, given all the turmoil in city government.
“His intentions are clean and good,” he said.