Paducah city commissioner proposes rescinding Veterans Day parade resolution

PADUCAH — Does the Paducah Veterans Day parade resolution violate the First Amendment right to free speech? That’s the question City Commissioner Richard Abraham is asking.

At Tuesday’s city commission meeting, Abraham discussed potentially rescinding the resolution that limited who could and couldn’t participate in the parade. The resolution became controversial when the Sons of Confederate Veterans were told they can’t carry Confederate flags in the parade.

Abraham said he was concerned that the resolution violated the First Amendment. “I am of the mind that we don’t need this resolution anymore,” Abraham said.

Abraham says the city attorney told him the resolution is no different than an offensive sign displayed in public. Commissioner Sandra Wilson says Abraham’s discussion about the resolution came as a surprise.

“Commissioner Abraham called me about two hours before the meeting to tell me that he was going to introduce this motion to rescind that resolution,” says Wilson.

Wilson says she wants to see the city attorney’s ruling of the resolution before it’s discussed. Wilson also says she’s not sure if she would vote to rescind it.

“I would have to look at it again. We’ve already passed this resolution, and I am sad that to me it has taken away from the true intent of honoring our veterans,” says Wilson.

City Manger Jim Arndt says he hopes the commission will be able to discuss the resolution at the next meeting.

“We’ll have to go by, hopefully, meet the needs of the entire commission, is my hope,” Arndt says.

Mayor Brandi Harless was not at Tuesday’s commission meeting. Arndt says he plans on discussing the resolution issue with her on Thursday.

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