Pensacola City Councilwoman Sherri Myers told Inweekly that she will not bring forward to the September council meeting an item to remove the “Our Confederate Dead” monument. She said she would wait to see the mayor’s plan for the removal and public input.
Myers sent Mayor Hayward the following email:
Dear Mayor Hayward,
I am contacting you to ask you for the following information:
1. Do you plan to bring your proposal to remove the Confederate monument from Lee Square before the city council?
2. What are your plans to relocate it?
3. How much is the cost?
4. Do you plan to attend public hearings regarding this matter prior to implementing any decision to remove and relocate the monument?
5. Will you hold public meetings regarding what plans you have for Lee Square?
6. What is your plan to make Lee Square accessible for people with disabilities?
She told Inweekly that she believes the mayor should participate in any public meetings regarding the Confederate monument.
“We will have to wait to see what Ashton’s going to do,” said Councilwoman Myers.
Late Friday afternoon, Mayor Hayward issued at statement that while he personally would like to see the 50-ft. monument removed, he had no plans for doing so. He said he would not act “unilaterally” – meaning without a city council vote.
He said he supports the council policy regarding historic statues because it would “enable the citizens to participate, to the maximum extent possible, in any decision to move a historical resource located on city property.” Under that policy that was passed in 2010, no final action to remove the monument can be taken for a minimum of 30 days after an item is introduced to the city council.
Hayward said, in the written statement, “I see no reason to deviate from the policy and every reason to adhere to it.”
The mayor did not address whether he would bring up the matter to the council or whether he would make a recommendation on how to remove the monument. Both are possible under the 2010 policy.