The Knights of Columbus have assembled the creche that has long decorated the Canonsburg borough building's front lawn is back in time for the community's "Lite the Nite" event tonight.
The creche was the subject of public outcry last holiday season after borough Manager Terry Hazlett asked the Knights of Columbus to assemble it on a space just down the street in front of private property instead of its normal place in front of the borough building.
That decision was in response to a written complaint from a resident who said it was offensive for those residents who are not Christians to be subjected to religious iconography on government property.
Hazlett's decision was initially supported by council and its solicitor, Pat Derrico, who said allowing the creche to stay put after such a complaint could lead to litigation—adding that case law was overwhelmingly in favor of those lodging complaints about holiday displays and against the municipalities in which they are set up.
But council later reversed its decision after community members, clergy, Mayor David H. Rhome and former Councilman A.J. Williams rallied to have it put back.
Council then decided to allow such displays by permit.
Reached Friday, Hazlett said that the Knights of Columbus had obtained the proper permit for the display. A permit for the sign erected next to it was obtained by the Greater Canonsburg Chamber of Commerce, he said.