Jacksonville to debate, again, removal of Confederate monuments
Lenny Curry floats a monumental budget item. Image via Jacksonville Today.

Will this City Council spend a half million dollars on it?

Jacksonville is poised to yet again consider removing Confederate monuments from public property.

City Councilman Matt Carlucci introduced a resolution Wednesday compelling a new plan for monument removal by July 26, capping the cost for monument removal at $500,000, with “alternative funding” sought to cover inevitable cost overage.

“As we all work together on this particular issue as outlined in Council’s strategic plan, follow up is critical. I recognize that facilitating a community conversation and developing a roadmap will take time and the July target is roughly three months away. So, I have offered this legislation as a next step in moving Jacksonville forward,” Carlucci asserted.

Carlucci’s “community conversation” on the process forward should be interesting given that legislation filed last year to remove the city’s most prominent Confederate monument did not get traction.

The Jacksonville City Council voted to withdraw a bill proposing to move a monument celebrating Confederate womanhood out of Springfield Park in November.

Mayor Lenny Curry sought $1.3 million to move the Tribute to the Women of the Confederacy from Springfield Park, but all three Council committees of reference rejected that appropriation.

Motions to postpone the bill failed repeatedly, but a motion to withdraw the legislation ultimately prevailed on a 12-6 vote.

Curry urged the Council to vote “yes or no,” but the Council did not want that vote.

A sticking point was the price tag itself: the $1.3 million needed for a careful move, in the hopes of preserving the artistic value of the piece. That argument fell flat even with Council members who otherwise wanted the monument gone.

The structure is currently tarped, and Curry’s office said last year the tarp will remain on the artwork until a final decision is made to remove the structure from public view.

It remains to be seen if there is an appetite for any spend, given the pitched rejection of the Mayor’s proposal last year.

“We’re listening to the loudest voices and not the majority of voices,” Republican Councilmember Randy DeFoor said in a committee hearing the bill.

“When I first came into office, this was not even talked about as being a problem,” said Councilmember Al Ferraro, also in committee.

Back in 2020, one Confederate monument was removed, at the behest of Mayor Curry, from what is now James Weldon Johnson Park, in the wake of unrest around the country spurred by the police killing of George Floyd. Progress has since stalled, with the final disposition of the statue in Springfield still undecided.

Carlucci clearly hopes to find a compromise, but Council’s willingness to go along will be worth watching.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Frankie M.

    March 17, 2022 at 7:06 pm

    They have $$ to blow up the Berkman but not enough for recycling or removing Confederate monuments?What if they agree to remove one monument a year? They could crowdsource and make a party out of it. Let Seber emcee it.

  • Westide is the best side

    March 18, 2022 at 2:36 am

    There are people being shot and murdered almost every day in Jacksonville, yet, some continue to bring this up as being so important, it is not. I will say this one more time. If any Republican on the city council, besides, RHINO CARLUCCI, votes to remove the Confederate Monuments, their political career will be over, period.

  • Conservative for Righteousness

    March 18, 2022 at 9:41 am

    These statues could be removed for less. Auction them off! Or ask the Seabees or other similar orgs to remove them. These statues are stupid and racist and don’t reflect traditional conservative values.

  • Me

    March 18, 2022 at 10:43 am

    What compromise is Carlucci asking for???? Removing them is not a compromise. Putting up new statues to famous blacks is a compromise.

Comments are closed.


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