Presentation and recommendation is part of October 23 agenda
During its August 28 meeting, the St. Augustine City Commission heard more than four hours of public comment regarding the future of the city’s memorial to local soldiers who served and died in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. The memorial is located in the Plaza de la Constitución. At the conclusion of that meeting, and after discussion among themselves, Commissioners asked City Manager John Regan to conduct research into the topic and then return with options and a recommendation of specific action.
At the Commission’s next meeting, on Monday, October 23, the City Manager will report back to the Commission and offer a comprehensive presentation and a recommendation. The presentation will offer background on the memorial’s history, its context with other Civil War related recognitions in Florida and nationwide, and recounts the city’s ongoing effort to tell its whole history.
The recommendation will be to allow the memorial to remain in place, but to add contextualization that will be guided by a Commission-appointed advisory committee.
There are two options not being recommended by staff. First would be to do nothing, and miss an opportunity to tell the city’s complete history. The other would be to relocate it which raises a number of challenges including how to move it without physically destroying it, the cost and who would pay, and identifying a place for relocation.
The City Manager’s presentation to the Commission at Monday’s meeting and the discussion that follows will not occur before 7:15pm. This will allow the Commission to work through its regular agenda, recess briefly at 7:00pm when overflow seating will be set up. The meeting will continue at 7:15pm when the regular agenda will be completed including the City Manager’s presentation.
Since the city’s Confederate memorial presentation and discussion is on the Commission’s agenda, public input on that topic will not be heard during general public comment period at the beginning of the meeting. Rather, if the Commission decides to accept additional public comment on the topic at Monday’s meeting it will be as part of the city manager’s presentation and not before 7:15pm. Members of the public interested only in the presentation and discussion of the city’s Confederate memorial may wish to schedule their arrival accordingly.
The meeting will begin at 5:00pm on Monday, October 23 in The Alcazar Room, City Hall, 75 King St. and will be carried live on GTV (Comcast channel 3) as well as on-line at www.CityStAugTV.com where it is also available on-demand the day following the meeting.