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Fate of Confederate statue to be decided by council

The Farmville Town Council unanimously voted during its Wednesday, July 8, meeting to hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, to determine what should be done with the Confederate statue removed from its pedestal on High Street in June.

During a Thursday, June 18, meeting town council held a brief reconvened meeting and voted to remove the Confederate statue that was located at the intersection of High and Randolph Streets.

On July 1, new legislation took effect, giving cities and counties around Virginia the power to remove Confederate monuments they own and maintain under the new law.

Under the new law, council can hold a public hearing, after which the council may vote to remove, relocate, contextualize or cover the monument or memorial.

During the July meeting councilman Brian Vincent said he had heard from many of his constituents who agreed with relocating the statue to the Confederate Cemetery at 205 Jackson Ave.

Vice-Mayor Chuckie Reid and Sallie Amos both said they had heard from citizens that a relocation to the cemetery would be a good move.

At the July 1 work session, councilman Dan Dwyer spoke up to say that he would like to see the issue go to a referendum and let town citizens vote.

Since then, Dwyer said he too has heard from citizens expressing interest that the statue be relocated to the Confederate Cemetery.

The unanimous vote to hold a public hearing means the council will not have the option under the new state law to hold a public referendum on the statue.

Unlike recent public hearings, council is allowing citizens to attend the Wednesday, Aug. 19, public hearing in person. Those who do not feel comfortable attending in person may utilize a conference call number to make their statement to the board.