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Complaint forces Buhler to take cross off city seal

November 25, 2012|By Sia Nyorkor | KWCH 12 Eyewitness News

(BUHLER, Kan.) — Some people want to see Buhler's city seal change and the mayor says, it's a battle that's just too expensive to fight.

After pressure from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Buhler will remove the cross from its city seal and city properties.

"I don't know if frustrated is the right word but we're all saddened that this issue has taken place and that we have to do something about the sign," says Mayor Daniel Friesen.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, which is based in Wisconsin, sent the city of Buhler a letter stating it was violating constitutional rights by having a cross in its city seal.

The mayor says the cross has been a part of the city's official seal since the late 80s.

The city consulted several law firms, which said the city would most likely lose if it took this to court.

So, it will re-design the city's seal for about $2500.  The alternative is not an option.


How much would court costs be? asked Eyewitness News Reporter Sia Nyorkor.

"You know, add a few zeros to that, like $250,000, replied the mayor.

But some in the community aren't giving up without a fight.  Grass-root efforts are forming online.

People really want the cross to be a part of our symbol. I've had a number of people offer their private property to house a sign," says Phil Neufeldt, a Buhler resident.

But the mayor says, the decision is final.

"Is there a part of you that says, this is worth it, we should fight this?" asked Nyorkor.

"Sure, people know me around town and I'm not one to back down from an issue but we looked at this with level heads and the bottom line was if we would fight it, we'd be wasting tax payer money," says the mayor.

The city sent emails telling residents about the changes.

The city will re-design the city seal and remove the cross from city property in the next 2 to 3 months.

Buhler will remove cross from all city property
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