UPDATE: APIL reader’s email leads to change in resolution language, but only temporarily

Clark County Commissioner David Madore

Clark County Councilor David Madore

UPDATE, Feb. 27, 6:19 p.m.:

It’s baaaaack.

On Feb. 26 at 8:30 a.m., the “In God We Trust” resolution was reposted to The Grid. This time, a line about state atheism, which was removed after the original resolution was posted, was back.

This time, however, it sports Council Chair David Madore’s signature, as well as council clerk Rebecca Tilton’s.

I unfortunately wasn’t able to track down Acting County Manager Mark McCauley or a public information officer to figure out why the language was added back in, but keep in mind that this language does not at all match what was presented at Tuesday’s council meeting.

“If we’re about to vote on something, I think it’s a good idea to read what it says,” Madore said Tuesday before reading the resolution.

In the version he read, the first line read “Whereas ‘In God We Trust’ became the national motto of the United States pursuant to 36 USC 302 in July 1956.” Nothing in there about state atheism.

Remember, the council voted two to one in favor of the resolution Madore read, but not the resolution he signed that day. Only a day before he’d told one of his constituents that she made a good point about the line about state atheism being controversial.

I’ve attached every version of Tuesday’s resolution for your perusal.

First version

First update

Second update


Clark County Councilor David Madore sure isn’t responding to any of my emails, but he seems to be listening to some of you.

Reader and frequent All Politics is Local commenter Michele Wollert told me after she saw my tweets about the most recent “In God We Trust” resolution containing a line about the motto combating “state atheism,” she got in touch with the councilors. I reached out to Acting County Manager Mark McCauley and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Horne and didn’t hear from either of them about why the language was changed.

Wollert’s emails back and forth with Madore are here:

From: Michele Wollert
Sent: Friday, February 20, 2015 3:11 PM
To: Stewart, Jeanne; Madore, David; Mielke, Tom
Cc: McCauley, Mark
Subject: Language change in resolution?

Good afternoon, Councilors:

I noticed that a new “In God We Trust” resolution has been posted on the grid, adding the following inflammatory language that was not present in the first one posted:  “counter the state atheism.”

The resolution has already fractured the community.  Why in the world would you add language that makes this even more controversial?

Just want to draw your attention to the fact that many of us have noticed the switch and are scratching our heads over the reason behind it.

I am attaching both versions so you can compare for yourselves.

Thank you for considering reverting back to your original resolution, dated 2/21/15.

Michele Wollert

From: Madore, David <David.Madore@clark.wa.gov>
To: ‘Michele Wollert’
Sent: Mon, Feb 23, 2015 12:48 pm
Subject: RE: Language change in resolution?

Thank you Michele, good point.  It is being revised today and will be reposted.

From: Michele Wollert
To: David.Madore <David.Madore@clark.wa.gov>
Sent: Mon, Feb 23, 2015 1:05 pm
Subject: Re: Language change in resolution?

Thank you so very much for letting me know.  I very much appreciate that.


I checked to see, and The Grid was in fact updated at 4:05 p.m. on Monday to remove the line about state atheism. If you’re curious to see what was posted earlier today, don’t fret. I saved it before it was changed.

Kaitlin Gillespie

Kaitlin Gillespie

I'm the education reporter at The Columbian. Get in touch at kaitlin.gillespie@columbian.com or 360-735-4517.

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