The proclamation Carroll and Fletcher refused to support

Mayor Craig Fletcher
Mayor Craig Fletcher
Vice Mayor Tracy Carroll
Vice Mayor Tracy Carroll

Editor’s Note: originally reported that both Mayor Craig Fletcher and Vice Mayor Tracy Carroll refused to sign the proclamation on Humanist Recognition Week. The version of the proclamation finally presented did, however, include the Mayor’s signature, though the Vice Mayor’s signature was absent from the document.  Some have asked us to publish the complete text of the proclamation Mayor Craig Fletcher and Vice Mayor Tracy Carroll refused to support at this past Tuesday’s City Council meeting.  Over Carroll’s objections that Humanists are “atheist,” and Fletcher’s refusal to support non-Christian groups, the Council’s remaining three members approved and presented the proclamation. 


WHEREAS, the Constitution of this land recognizes that all religious perspectives be treated equally; and

WHEREAS, as a nation and community of citizens from so many diverse backgrounds and beliefs, the only way we can solve our problems is through cultivating intelligent, and ethical interactions among all people, with tolerance and respect; and

WHEREAS, our nation and community face many problems, from creating jobs, educating our children, reducing violence, protecting our citizens, and guarding the integrity of scientific research, we must call upon compassion guided by reason to solve these problems; and

WHEREAS, lasting legacies of the use of the scientific method and the power of reason have been left for the benefit of humanity by great Humanists, such as Dr. Jonas Salk, Dr. Albert Einstein, Dr. Carl Sagan, Dr. Isaac Asimov, and many others.

NOW THEREFORE, I, A. Craig Fletcher, Mayor of the City of Vero Beach, Florida do hereby proclaim that the week of June 16 through June 23, 2013 be known, designated and set aside as “Humanist Recognition Week” in Vero Beach in recognition of the contribution to the quality of life in Vero Beach by the Humanist Community.


  1. Please be more truthful in your reporting. You never mention this humanist group wanting to ban the city’s Thanksgiving proclamation… because it thanks God. and how no “tolerance” issues were raised on that occasion .. its pretty bias.and I think that fact is pretty important in the complete story line of this situation. The humanist group is being made to seem innocent and tolerant while in fact they themselves are guilty of intolerance. Lets be fair here and state the truth. This group wanted the Thanksgiving proclamation, which is a American tradition held dear by many…banned because it is not line with their beliefs.

  2. Albert Einstein was born of secular Jews. He attended a Catholic School in Munich, since the Jewish school had been closed. He appears to have been able to get along with his fellow students, even though there was anti-Semitism to some degree, and he suffered some physical attacks on his way home from school. He was a deist and pantheist (look it up), as well as Humanist. This information is easily Googled and backed up by various sources.

  3. The Christian Heritage Week Proclamation, annually scheduled during Thanksgiving week, was sponsored by American Family Association. Thanksgiving or the reasons for Thanksgiving was not the question, it was this organization, which can be linked to discrimination and was listed by one legal organization as being a hate group. It was suggested a more main-stream local religious group take over the sponsoring of this legitimate Christian Heritage Week. Thanksgiving is a special time for most of us – whether secular or religious. Whether one thanks a deity or simply expresses gratitude in general – it doesn’t matter, does it? Philip and Cathy Katrovitz

  4. Well, I would be skeptical to call AFA a hate group when that label merely came from other activist groups Moveon and Southern Poverty law -on the other side of the aisle of thinking, most likely looking to raise contributions for their various causes. That is not really rational to believe at all. Besides, the humanist group that wanted to ban Thanksgivings historical American meaning was being pretty petty if you ask me. I mean, it is what it is. Reality is reality. The separatists thanked God for the rain which saved their crops and the help of Squanto. William Bradford wrote later that Squanto was a “…special instrument sent by God for their good beyond their expectations …” You can read the story in Bradfords work: Of Plymouth Plantation. The Pilgrims named the day “A Day of Fasting Humiliation and Prayer.” That day the of the proclamation the rain begin to fall! For three days it rained and as a result of that miracle of them Thanking God, their crops survived, they survived and Thanksgiving was born.

  5. What you are referring to as “a Thanksgiving proclamation” was actually a proclamation recognizing American Christian Heritage Week, which was scheduled to coincide with the week of Thanksgiving. American Christian Heritage Week and the national observance of Thanksgiving are not one in the same. For example, many people of the Jewish faith, and of other faiths, observe Thanksgiving, but they do not at the same time observe American Christian Heritage Week. As legitimate as it may be to set aside a week recognizing “Christian Heritage,” just because that week coincides with Thanksgiving does not make the Christian Heritage Week proclamation a “Thanksgiving proclamation.”

  6. So, just curious… Why did you not mention their attempts to stop that proclamation in your article? That would have been fair reporting. People can view the video for themselves to see the statements made, this topic is discussed 20 minutes or so in: – Thank you. I hope all sides are presented in the future to keep things fair and ethical.

  7. First, since most people know that Cathy Katrovitz is married to the man who was rebuffed by Council members Tracy Carroll and Craig Fletcher, it is also widely known what might be her agenda. Perhaps it would be help for readers of InsideVero to know that you co-host a radio program, maintain a blog ( and a Facebook page for a Christian broadcasting group that asserts, “Political, economic and religious liberty have never been realized until the Pilgrim fathers applied the principles of the Bible fully to civil law.”

    Second, Carroll and Fletcher gave religious and philosophical reasons for not supporting the Humanist Recognition Week proclamation. Those arguments stand on their own, and are the central issue in this story. If, as you suggest, Carroll and Fletcher declined to support the Humanists Recognition Week proclamation because The Humanists of the Treasure Coast had earlier expressed concerns about the Council’s tacit endorsement of The American Family Association, an organization identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, then that would suggest the two Council members were motivated to seek revenge and/or retribution. Hopefully Carroll and Fletcher were simply acting out of ignorance of the First Amendment, and were not motivated by revenge.

  8. Wanting to give the American Family Association the benefit of a doubt, I went to their website. I have no doubt they are sincere in their beliefs– all written in black & white, in The Bible–and interpreted down through the ages, translated and offered in good faith. But I don’t see why the AFA would encourage churches to drop the Boy Scout Charter and make a point of mentioning that scouts participated in a gay pride parade less than two weeks after the courts made their ruling.

    That Home Depot gave a gay organization $8,500 and AFA promoted a boycott of HD “until it agreed to remain neutral in the homosexual CULTURE war”….should not make any difference–at least to me.
    Buddy Smith, Exec. VP of AFA,, in an interview, stated he believed AARP membership fees/profits were being used to promote legalized same-sex marriages. So, we see where AFA stands on that issue. I am a proud member of AARP – don’t always agree with it but that’s okay.

    Oh, and ExxonMobile shareholders voted down a resolution (for the 14th year) refusing to promote and provide “acceptance” training of homosexuality to all employees even if they had religious objections. Fine. The AFA “continues to encourage all companies to stay neutral in the culture war over special rights for those who choose to engage in unnatural sexual behavior.” The AFA sounds like just another activist group to me. Doesn’t sound like they care much for homosexuals, that’s for sure.

  9. Mark, thank you for educating your readership of the backgrounds of both Cathy Katrovitz and Jennifer Featherstone. This is very useful information.

  10. Mark: Since you are so quick to find fault with the way Christians handle situations like this, please accompany the Humanist and go to any Muslim Country of your choosing and present this proclamation to the political leaders there, you might want to bring a film crew to document the beheading.

  11. Now there’s a logical argument – contrast poor behavior to something even more egregious and your off the hook.

  12. Tolerance is a two way street, something you have yet to learn. We are asked to be tolerant of Muslims, Atheist, Jews, etc. Yet Christians are routinely singled out for ridicule.

  13. The mayor has been ridiculed in the press including an article by my Friend Russ Lemon, local T.V reporters make him out to be part of the Inquisition.

  14. You wrote, “Tolerance is a two way street, something you have yet to learn.” So, apart from what may have appeared in “the press,” can you be specific? You were, of course, referring to me.

  15. My husband, Philip Katrovitz, passed away March 9, 2019. He came from a Jewish family; I from a Christian family. He met with Humanists along the way while here and eventually was asked to present the proclamation to both the City and Indian River Co. leaders. Phil was not as outgoing as he may have seemed. Mr. Solari and Mr. Zorc did not sign the County Proclamation. Mayor Fletcher and Vice-Mayor Carroll did not sign the City Proclamation. I am grateful to the other members of City Council and IRC Board Members for their kindness. Both Phil and I joined the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Vero Beach and were happy to be living in Vero Beach. I still do, since in reality I’ve lived in this County for approximately half my life. It’s a wonderful place – lots of extraordinary people put down roots here. The Humanists did not ask for anything special – just equal. Thank you all so very much.

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