Nash board mulls motto for buildings

trust motto

Staff Writer

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Nash County Board of Commissioners is establishing a committee to explore whether it should place “In God We Trust” on its public buildings.

The move came after a presentation Monday from Rick Lanier, a former Davidson County commissioner who is asking local governments across the state to use the motto, which appears on U.S. currency and was approved in 1956 as the nation’s official motto.

Following Lanier's presentation at the board's workshop, James Ervin, chaplain of the American Legion Department of North Carolina, told the commissioners he would be disappointed in any of them who voted against the motto's placement.

Lanier's group — the U.S. Motto Action Committee — is offering to pay for the cost of displaying the motto at $2,500 a per location. The group relies on donations from individuals and churches, according to information provided by Lanier.

Half of North Carolina’s 100 counties and dozens of municipalities have placed the “In God We Trust” motto via Lanier’s group.

A group opposed to the government use of “In God We Trust,” emailed commissioners Sunday, asking them to consider using “E Pluribus Unum,” which means “From Many, One,” and also appears on U.S. currency.

Robert Ray, executive director of the nonprofit Original Motto Project, said “E Pluribus Unum” better represents the inclusive nature of American society. Ray didn't offer to cover the associated costs.

In other business, the board heard a departmental presentation by Nash County Register of Deeds Anne Melvin.

Nash County Manager Zee Lamb said Melvin's office runs smooth, with good checks and balances in place. He said people shouldn’t worry about any possible scandal similar to what recently befell the Wake County Register of Deeds office, where several employees have been accused of embezzlement.

Lamb also said Melvin's office is self-supportive, meaning the county department makes more money than it spends each year.

Board Vice Chairman Wayne Outlaw said Melvin's staff are always courteous and respectful of all its customers.