Pensacola

Mayor punts Confederate monument to council

August 18, 2017

Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward has no plan for removal of ‘Our Confederate Dead.’

Statement issued by mayor’s office:

“Since my remarks Wednesday morning about the monument in Lee Square, stories have circulated that plans are being developed to remove the monument from the square. I want to reassure everyone that that is not the case.

While I stated that if the decision to move the monument was up to me, I would have it moved, I also said that there is a process that has to be followed.

Simply put, this is not a decision that is mine to make unilaterally, and it is not one that I would want to make unilaterally. While my opinion has not changed – the monument should be moved or put in its proper context – I am not advocating for unilateral action.

There is an existing City Council policy that addresses the preservation of historical resources and it would be wise to follow it. In that policy, the City Council declared its intent to protect the historical resources of the City to the maximum extent possible, to enable the citizens to participate, to the maximum extent possible, in any decision to move a historical resource located on city property, and to take no final action for a minimum of 30 days after an item is introduced to Council. I see no reason to deviate from the policy and every reason to adhere to it.”

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  • CJ Lewis August 21, 2017 at 8:55 am

    It seems unfair to say or even infer that Hayward “punted” on this issue. First, absent a specific statutory authority nothing in federal law, state law, city law,, city policies and the City Charter give him the authority to make this decision. Of note, Hayward has not hesitated in the past to contract with law firms that function like “word brothels” spewing out whatever he wants to hear so long as the money is right. For example, in a so-called “legal opinion” secretly drafted by fired City Attorney Rusty Wells for his Tallahassee-employer the law firm of Allen, Norton & Blue, Wells asserted that the City Charter gave the Mayor a unilateral power to abolish the city’s Civil Service System. In fact, this action violates both the City Charter and a state law that expressly prohibit it. The City Council did not really care and city employees apparently did not care either because had they challenged the action in court they almost certainly would have prevailed. The story of the city’s new government is endless abuse of power by the Mayor with a politically impotent City Council eagerly embracing weakness. We most recently saw that when the City Council refused to take Hayward to court when he vetoed an action of the City Council that is very plainly not subject to veto. Were Hayward to ignore the City Council’s authority in the matter of the Confederate Monument, he could probably get away with it. However, for the record, the specific policy in question was adopted by “resolution.” Like ordinances, resolutions must be adopted by the governing body of a municipality using a strict state law method described in Section 166.041, Florida Statutes. Hayward has no lawful power to violate resolutions (or ordinances) though he does it all the time. By the way, what Hayward could do on his own is have Pensacola Police Officers “whiteout” the Confederate flag on their badges and patches. If the Confederate flag is still on Pensacola’s fire engines, they could be covered up too. The Fiesta of Five Flags is a big promoter of the Confederacy to include prominently using a Confederate flag. Hayward could prohibit city employees to include himself from participating in Fiesta of Five flag events and not issue permits to the “hate” group.

  • Ames August 18, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Was the preservation policy enacted after that old house was torn down and replaced with apartments??