The following comes from a Jan. 27 story in the Desert Sun.
Indio Mayor Lupe Ramos Watson has made the executive decision to not open council meetings with the traditional invocation, prompting at least one councilman to seek a legal opinion about the move.
Ramos Watson, a Republican who holds the top title under the city’s rotation, said she is forgoing an invocation because she does not believe that prayer-like practice is appropriate for a government meeting.
“Members of the community reached out to me and told me that they felt excluded during the invocation,” said Ramos Watson, who made a similar decision when she was mayor in 2011.
“In absence of a city law regarding the matter, I chose not to have it.”
The decision was made without the input of other council members.
Councilman Mike Wilson is adamantly opposed to removing the invocation, arguing that the vast majority of Indio residents “are of Judeo-Christian beliefs. ”
“I do not think it is being made in the best interest of the people,” Wilson said.
Ramos Watson and Wilson on Wednesday will meet with the city attorney to discuss the invocation.
Wilson, who has been discussing the issue on social media, said more than 50 residents have expressed their discontent with the decision….