The city of Winter Garden has a new policy regarding the invocation process for city commissioners. In a resolution passed by a 4-1 vote on May 9, it was decided that the commissioners take turns leading the invocation.
This revision followed long-standing criticism by Winter Garden resident Joseph Richardson. He has been asking to lead the invocation for five years and has raised concerns about the old policy allowing for religious discrimination.
Richardson had proposed changing the invocation to a moment of silence or eliminating it entirely if the process was not going to be altered. He had gotten a petition with over 2,000 signatures over the past years in an effort to have revisions made to the policy.
Winter Garden City Manager Mike Bollhoefer said their decision to change the course of direction was only partly influenced by his protests. While Bollhoefer believes that their previous practice was constitutional, he feels like this way of doing things will be preferred.