Mayor A. Clifford Goff says he would feel better if the Rev. Robert Harris were dead before the City Council honored him with a resolution.

During a council session Thursday, Goff said the governing board would be taking an unusual action by honoring Harris - at his own request and while he's still kicking.Harris asked the council last week to pass a resolution honoring his life while he was still breathing, saying, "Give me my flowers while I'm still living."

Before the council unanimously passed the resolution, Goff tried to persuade Harris to forget it.

"I think it would be a lot better if you were dead," Goff told Harris. He said Harris' accomplishments are admirable, but the council usually honors people after they have died.

Harris, a pastor for 31 years in Ogden, was the first black elected to the Utah Legislature and has spent most of his life aiding the poor. He has also been arrested several times and jailed for his acts of civil disobedience. He's famous for lying down in the streets and elsewhere, usually with protest signs.

The mayor said he couldn't get excited about honoring a man who's been arrested 29 times and jailed 20 times.