The Vader city council voted last week to end prayers before meetings, arguing for more separation between church and state. The city's parks board responded by voting to add prayers before their meetings.
Mayor Ken Smith advocated for prayers before meetings after a 2014 ruling of the US Supreme Court stating an upstate New York town was not violating constitutional rights by having prayers before meetings. Mayor Smith, an active member of the local Mormon church, pushed to have prayers before meetings and the city council started doing invocations in early 2015.
Judi Costello, a councilwoman elected in November, previously tried to discontinue the prayers but her motion failed in a January 28th meeting. Through more discussions, the council eventually unanimously voted to end the invocations.