Library Trustee Asks For Pledge Of Allegiance To Start Meeting

Entire board will make decision


New City Library Board Trustee Tom Ninan asked on Thursday night for the Pledge of Allegiance to be said prior to the official start of the meeting.  The agenda, which had been distributed to the board and made available to the public several days earlier, did not include the pledge.  Board President Terri Thal denied the request at the time but has since reconsidered her decision.  

Thal released a statement on Friday explaining her decision to put the matter before the entire board.

“The practice of saying the Pledge of Allegiance at New City Library board meetings was introduced in February 2009 by the then-board president. It had not been done before then. When I set the agenda for last night's meeting, I returned to the earlier practice of not reciting the Pledge. In retrospect, I think that whether or not to say it should be a decision of the entire board, not just the president, so I plan to present a motion to formally make it part of the agenda at the next board meeting.”

At the meeting Thal said reciting the pledge is not included in the board’s bylaws.  According to New City Library Director Chuck McMorran, the bylaws state that the board president sets the agenda for the meetings.

McMorran said although the pledge has been said at the meetings for the past three years, it was not part of the agenda when he started with the library three and a half years ago. McMorran said the pledge was added to the agenda when Tom Ninan became board president in 2009 and Aney Paul continued it.

Thal’s decision drew strong reaction from audience members.  Matthew Brennan said, “I can’t believe a veteran asked you if you could say the Pledge of Allegiance and you said no.” 

A former library board member agreed that in the past, the pledge was not said but thought it should be.  Marge Hook said she was going to tell veterans about the meeting and urge them to attend the next one.   The board of trustees’ next meeting is Thursday, March 15.

GWashington February 21, 2012 at 01:11 PM
(1) The fact that this is not done already is appalling since TAX money pays for everything that goes on there. (2) The fact that it was not an immediate, unanimous decision of the Board to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, is again, appalling. The next New City Board Meeting is March 15th, the Ides of March. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice, for All.
Merlin The Mighty Wizard February 21, 2012 at 01:37 PM
This board is eerily similar to the school board. Is it something about Clarkstown?
F*** February 21, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Can't any public officials just keep their mouths shut and do their job?
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day February 21, 2012 at 03:40 PM
While I appreciate Mr. McMorran taking my call the morning after this meeting, I will again reiterate as I did during that conversation that the Pledge of Allegiance should not be relegated to an "agenda item". That is insulting in and of itself to be honest. The Pledge of Allegiance should be part of the framework of every meeting, as is practiced at every public governmental meeting that I can think of here in this community. While Ms. Thal has a right not to recite, stand, or acknowledge the Pledge of Allegiance, all I will point out to her is that she consider that right was secured by the blood of heroes who gave their lives under that very flag. And while expects her beliefs to be respected in that regard, she needs to understand the core issue - It is absolutely wrong for her to dictate HER beliefs, especially under the color of authority. She should put her responsibilities to library and community first by respecting tradition and current community mores, especially in her capacity as a Library official. I also am of the belief that if people like Marge Hook had not publicly aired this as she did on local radio, such a quick about face would have never occurred. That focus should remain until the matter is formally addressed and settled. The Pledge of Allegiance should be codified as a formal part of meeting openings. No one person should be making this call, and I am encouraged that all the elected members of the Board will make the final decision on this matter.
Merlin The Mighty Wizard February 21, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Bravo Mr. Day!
Mike Hirsch February 21, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Yes Merlin, it is something about Clarkstown. Our town is run by a guy named Ed Lettre. He decides who gets elected because he controls the "Conservative" Party line, which he gives to Alex in exchange for his $165,000 job, plus car and free health care for life at your expense. The library board is made up of political insiders who support the Gromack/Lettre/Reda machine. Couple that with an electorate who choose not to be involved, and you see what we get. A complete and total disregard for the public. A public, by the way, who are not fulfilling their civic responsibilities.
Tony T February 21, 2012 at 04:59 PM
When do we vote of these bunch of jerks again? There is not reason why every public meeting should not start with the pledge......I wonder what other public meetings have relegated the Pledge of Allegiance to an "agend item" if even that?
Ramona Quimby February 21, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Ms. Thal usually misses the pledge because she is usually late to the meeting. If she is there in time for the pledge she usually makes her coffee while the rest of the meeting participants stand for the pledge. Completely disrespectful on many levels.
F*** February 21, 2012 at 05:14 PM
That, in a nutshell. Priceless.
F*** February 21, 2012 at 05:16 PM
How about they also play the Star Spangled Banner followed by a non-denominational moment of reflection?
F*** February 21, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Ed, I think Mike Hirsch makes a good point below, don't you agree?
Merlin The Mighty Wizard February 21, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Thanks for the education, Mike. Nothing surprises me in this town anymore.
Merlin The Mighty Wizard February 21, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Tony T, I agree with you for once! I think this is an issue as Americans we all feel passionately about. Terri Thal, I believe you will now see more interest in the library board. At least you will from me.
Watchdog February 21, 2012 at 07:07 PM
F ALLEGIANCE. I am curious as to what the hell could possibly be the reason that this Mrs. Thai could have for not only seeing to it that the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE is read but why she personally doesn't recite the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE? Does she show allegiance to ANOTHER FLAG OR COUNTRY? I would like to know!
Tony T February 21, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Maybe before she runs for that postioin again she will answer that question.....I would hope that one of the Trustee's of my local library think s that the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE still has relevance. I just found out that the Lord and Taylor in the West Nyack Mall plays the National Anthem every morning when they open over their speaker system. Do other chain stores do that....maybe they should. From now on L&T will get my businees!!!
Z February 21, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I understand Ms. Thai is the board president. Is this Ms. Thai an American citizen? If she is, she should be thrown off the board immediately for being disrespectful to her country and to all the men and women who have fought for this country. If she is not an American citizen, she should not even be on the board that we, as citizens, have the right to vote for.
Watchdog February 21, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I agree. Get rid of this ingrate!
Watchdog February 22, 2012 at 02:45 AM
I do not trust anyone who is unwilling to recite the Pledge of Allegiance with choosing material for my library. What kind of person is this?
GWashington February 22, 2012 at 03:15 AM
The same kind of person that runs the school system and the local government, willing to take your tax dollars without respect for the country that codified God-given rights not government-(man)given. The same kind of person that celebrates Occupy Wall Street, universal healthcare with unconstitutional mandates, tenure for teachers, and anything "free" at the expense of the "other" guy.
Tony T February 22, 2012 at 04:44 AM
Mr. Washington, They were not around when you were President but the people you are referring to are now called DEMOCRAT'S!!!!
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day February 29, 2012 at 02:19 PM
An update on the matter of the Pledge of Allegiance being removed from the New City Library agenda by the Board president Teri Thal. According to a news report, Ms. Thal has reversed herself and is putting forth a resolution during the board’s regular Thursday March 15th meeting to permanently add the Pledge of Allegiance to the agenda. As I had said before - The Pledge of Allegiance should be part of the framework of every meeting, as is practiced at every public governmental meeting that I can think of here in this community. It should not be left to the whim of any one person. Having the matter presented formally to the Board is a step in the right direction, as the entire Board of elected representatives can weigh the matter. It should also establish a formality that most have come to expect. The meeting commences at 7PM at the library for those who wish to see or ensure this happens.
GWashington February 29, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Hazzah! Ms. Thal feels the breath of the country-folk upon her neck. As I send my son back to Afghanistan in two days time, I pray Ms. Thal truly understands the words of that Pledge, the depth and breadth of its meaning, and says a silent prayer for those who have died defending our right to say it. HOOAH!
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day February 29, 2012 at 03:45 PM
To GW: From one military Dad to another - God speed to your son.
GWashington February 29, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Thank you. He is one of two in the service. You have three, I believe.
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day February 29, 2012 at 03:52 PM
God bless those heroes of yours. And I have two like yourself. One just finished up after 2 combat deployments with the 82nd Airborne 4th BCT and is a civilian again! My youngest is in Special Forces training at SWAC in Ft. Bragg. He'll ship out at some point for sure.


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