Pensacola city council to vote Tuesday on Confederate monument’s future

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The Pensacola City Council is set to vote Tuesday on whether to remove the Confederate monument at Lee Square in downtown Pensacola.

The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. and can only be viewed online at cityofpensacola.com/video.

At the meeting, the council will be given the recommendation from city staff that in order to be inclusive, the Confederate monument at Lee Square needs to come down, Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson said during his Monday morning press conference.

A city staff memorandum says the monument “does not reflect (the city’s) current values nor strive to create a more inclusive city.”

Staff conducted research to see what other options they have — rather than bringing down the monument. If they were to add more monuments to better reflect the diversity of the community, they would need to be the same in size and craftsmanship, according to the memorandum. Erecting more statutes would cost more than $10 million and is not an action the city is expected to take.

Bringing down the monument is a cheaper, more inclusive option, according to the city.

The council will have several options to decide on Tuesday night. The council can decide on whether the monument should come down, stay up, or be put on a ballot for local residents to decide what should be done with it.

If the council does vote to take down the monument, the plan could be to donate it to a local museum. Others have suggested putting in the Gulf as an artificial reef, Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson said Monday morning.

The council will also decide on whether to change the name of Lee Square — named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee — back to its original name of Florida Square.

The city has provided the following options for you to give your comments and participate in the meeting:

• Speak during the meeting: Those wishing to participate can access the request to speak form here at https://www.cityofpensacola.com/ccinput , submissions will be accepted from 12:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. on July 14th. Those requesting to speak will then be called via the telephone number they provide; in the order the requests are received. You are asked to state your name and address for the record, and you will have two (2) minutes to speak.

• Send an email to City Council: Another option is to express your thoughts and have your voice be heard by emailing the Council Members or to Don Kraher at dkraher@cityofpensacola.com who will share your thoughts with all Council Members. These emails will be made part of the record of the meeting. Please be aware that all emails become public records and are subject to disclosure.

• Send comments to be read during the meeting: A final option is to send your thoughts in written form to Don Kraher at dkraher@cityofpensacola.com and request those thoughts be read into the record at the meeting. Comments will be read as submitted, however no obscenities or curse words will be read. The reading into the record will be relegated to the same two (2) minute time limit in place for the call-in speakers.

The monument at Lee Square was defaced by vandals June 30 and has since been closed off to the public.

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