The Jacksonville City Council voted to withdraw a bill proposing to move a monument celebrating confederate womanhood out of Springfield Park on Tuesday, and it’s unclear whether a future bill will be considered.
The bill’s withdrawal thwarted a policy priority of the Mayor, but not without real drama that included one stoppage of proceedings to clear the room before a final vote.
The Council’s position was known going in.
Three City Council committees (Finance; Transportation, Energy and Utilities; and Neighborhoods, Community Services, Public Health and Safety) had previously voted against spending $1.3 million to move the Tribute to the Women of the Confederacy from Springfield Park, a proposal advanced by Mayor Lenny Curry to remove the divisive structure from public space.
In the end, it was clear the Council did not want to move the monument.
Motions to postpone the bill failed repeatedly, but a Reggie Gaffney motion to withdraw the legislation ultimately prevailed by a 12-6 vote.
Curry urged Council to vote “yes or no,” but it was clear was the Council did not want that vote.
Democrat Garrett Dennis said Council was taking the “coward route” by withdrawing the bill, saying Curry would be “the winner” if the Council punted.
“He made a decision to put out a bill to remove the monuments … we couldn’t get it done,” Dennis said. “We are running and ducking our tails as cowards.”
The Mayor removed a monument last year from the former Hemming Park, located across the street from Jacksonville’s City Hall. He vowed during a Black Lives Matter march that other monuments would come down.
But unlike the one in what is now James Weldon Johnson Park, the mammoth structure in Springfield would require the full $1.3 million to move it, per the Mayor’s Office, to preserve the artistic value of the piece. That argument fell flat even with Council members who otherwise want the monument gone.
The structure is currently tarped, and Curry’s office says the tarp will remain on the artwork until final decision is made to remove the structure from public view.
Tonight the City Council disappointingly denied a step toward real progress in Our City by refusing to vote on the removal of a divisive monument from public land.
— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) November 10, 2021
November 10, 2021 at 9:01 am
Old new city of the south baby!
November 10, 2021 at 4:36 pm
Those of us who wanted the monument to stay, wanted a vote too, either up or down. But, withdrawing is better than postponing. We had over 80 people in attendance with 55 speakers. Ben Frazier had 22 speakers. We will be more organized next time with three times the number of people. This is a new beginning. We are on the offensive against the Marxist.
November 12, 2021 at 3:14 am
I got a plan. all sides need to sit down and talk. I can show how Jacksonville can be the bold new city of the south.
November 12, 2021 at 8:23 pm
I would like to add more monuments to celebrate black heritage and to keep up confederate monuments, lets celebrate everyones culture, but, it seems Ben Frazier does not want that, only to tear down monuments to Southerners, I hope I am wrong, but, I am willing to sit down with him and talk, will you Ben?
November 12, 2021 at 10:26 pm
The following companies, professional sports support, fund, Joe Biden, the Democrat party, BLM and other far left organizations. Financial BOYCOTT whenever possible the following socialist enablers. Do your part. Patriots, pass this text along….
*Designates active participant in Biden campaign & BLM.
Bank of America
Ford Motor Co.
Jack in the Box
Johnson & Johnson
Levi Strauss & Co
*State Farm Insurance
The General Insurance
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