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Statue discussion held in closed session

Farmville Town Council has live-streamed its council meetings on the Town of Farmville Facebook page and YouTube channel due to the declared state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, during its reconvened June 18 meeting in which council met to adopt the 2020/2021 budget and unanimously voted to remove a Confederate statue located at the intersection of High and Randolph Streets, that meeting was not streamed live.

A call-in conference line was made available for those who contacted town officials before 5 p.m. to request the call-in number.

According to Farmville Town Manager Scott Davis, it was not streamed live because the meeting was going to be short in nature.

The council meeting began at 7 p.m., and by 7:30 p.m. town employees were on-site removing the Confederate statue from its pedestal.

Farmville Mayor David Whitus has not responded to questions as to why the council meeting was not streamed.

A recording of the meeting revealed that the statue discussion was not recorded. It was held in closed session with the council coming out of closed session to record a unanimous vote to have the statue taken down.

In the audio of the meeting, Whitus can be heard telling someone in the room to “roll, you’re good” even before the vote to adjourn the meeting was taken. That was apparently the mayor’s order to begin the process of taking down the statue.