The Pensacola Confederate monument two-step

The Pensacola City Council did not vote to schedule a special meeting on the possible relocation of the Confederate memorial that is on city property. Instead, they only discussed whether to hold a special meeting if someone brought them a plan.

So they didn’t meet to schedule a meeting as Inweekly reported previously. Instead, they met to discuss whether they would meet to schedule a meeting when someone asked for a meeting.

In August, Mayor Ashton Hayward said that he wanted the “Our Confederate Statue” removed from Lee Square. Within hours of his statement, Councilman Larry Johnson followed with his endorsement of the mayor’s position.

The mayor later said he would follow council policy and ask the city council to review the matter. Council President Brian Spencer announced he would place on the Sept. 14 agenda, a discussion of whether the council wanted to schedule a public meeting on the issue.

Mayor Hayward, President Spencer and Councilman Johnson were not in attendance for discussion at the Sept. 14 meeting. The discussion item morphed into something even less decisive.

Council Executive Don Kraher told the council, “There’s no real need for a vote, just a census to say when an item comes forward and the council is presented with an action item that they would like to then schedule a special meeting to gather input from the public.”

Councilwoman Sherri Myers wasn’t in the mood for the political shenanigans. She said that she had requested in August the mayor’s plans for removal of the statue, the costs associated with the removal and how he planned to pay for it. Myers also wanted to know if he would attend public meetings on the issue.

“I haven’t heard one word from him,” said Myers.

For her, it was ridiculous to have a discussion on something that would already happen under council rules. She said, “My position is this—if somebody brings forth a plan, and it comes before the city council, I think there should be public input on this issue. That’s under our rules and procedures.”

In other words, why have this big build to discuss something that is already a council policy? Besides the mayor and council president can unilaterally call for a special meeting at any time.


2 thoughts on “The Pensacola Confederate monument two-step

  1. The mayor and council have much more important business to tend to than this colossal waste of taxpayer time and money. If this issue were put to a referendum, it would be defeated handily.

  2. The Mayor can place his plan on the council’s agenda and then we can have a public discuss about his plan. He needs to bring the plan forward along with the many other items he places on the council’s agenda. Most of the items on the council’s agenda come from the Mayor. He is in charge of the day to day activities of the city. He doesn’t allow city staff to discuss matters with a council member without his permission, or the permission of the City Administrator. Removing the Confederate monument is not simple. It is very expensive to remove that type of monument. It has to be moved by an expert who knows how to relocate monuments without breaking or damaging them. There needs to be coordination with St. John’s cemetery or some other place for the relocation to happen. The city council does not have the staff or resources to do what the Mayor is saying he wants to do – remove the monument. Removal of the monument is the Mayor’s initiative. He has the power and authority to bring his plan to the council for consideration and give the public the opportunity to weight in on. He also needs to be in attendance, as do the other two council-members who were absent to address the public. The Mayor also has all the resources he needs to execute the plan he wants implement.

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