An Anderson County committee this evening will discuss legal and liability issues associated with placing the national motto “In God We Trust” on the County Courthouse in Clinton.
The Anderson County Commission agreed in a 12-4 vote last month to put the motto on the courthouse, although there were some unanswered questions about design and legal liability. The commission referred the decision to the Anderson County Operations Committee, which will discuss it at 6 p.m. today in Room 312 of the County Courthouse.
The commission is expected to consider the motto placement again this month.
Supporters cited the use of the phrase on U.S. money, on federal buildings in the nation’s capital in Washington, D.C., and the frequent use of other phrases that reference God, including in the Pledge of Allegiance. They said the proposal was constitutional, and the motto was recently inscribed on the Putnam County Courthouse in Cookeville.
The proposal has reportedly been supported by about 50 or more local churches, and it would not be supported by county funds.
But commissioners said it needed further review by the county law director and the Operations Committee on liability and legal issues and the specifics of design and placement.
Also on tonight’s agenda is a discussion of the policy related to a county vehicle identified under the county mayor’s fixed assets. The county vehicle and travel policies have recently become controversial as Anderson County Commission Chairman Chuck Fritts said Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank should either accept a $400-per-month travel supplement or use a county car—but not do both, as he alleges she has.
But Frank said her honesty has been questioned, and she has been the subject of a politically motivated smear campaign. Frank said she hasn’t driven the county car—even though she could. And she has not requested any reimbursement for travel, even though she would be eligible to request reimbursement for more than 1,800 miles, Frank said during a recent press conference.
The Anderson County Courthouse is at 100 N. Main St. in Clinton.