North Texas Daily

Confederate Monument Committee to decide future of statue on Square

Confederate Monument Committee to decide future of statue on Square

December 07
00:57 2017

The Confederate Monument Committee set a goal to have a recommendation for the Denton County Commissioner’s Court by the end of January. The decision was made via a vote during their meeting on Nov. 30 in the county courthouse.

The commissioner’s court-appointed 10 members to discuss the future of the Confederate monument on the Denton Square. Chairman John Baines owns a bookkeeping and accounting service in Denton. The vice chairwoman, Ronnie Cade, was a prior Lewisville City Council member.

Five additional women were appointed to the committee on Tuesday. Charlotte Mooneyham, Donna Hernandez, Kay Copeland, Zenobia Hutton and Judy Flowers will now participate in future meetings.

Chairman Baines said the date will give the committee a deadline that will encourage productivity during the meetings.

“The date gives us a goal to shoot for,” Baines said during the meeting. “I personally can’t sign on for an open-ended conversation that will go on forever.”

Committee members Willie Hudspeth and Paul Meltzer voted against the deadline because they don’t want the decision to be rushed.

“It is critical, in my view, that we have a process that is very visibly fair and thorough,” Meltzer said. “That is more important than doing this quickly.”

The commissioners asked if the committee will have a recommendation by Dec. 21 and Baines said no. In response, the committee voted on the January deadline.

Baines stated the final decision will be from the committee as a whole and their main objective is to establish a consensus.  

Nov. 30 marked the committee’s third meeting, which was the first time it was observable by the public. The observers were asked not to comment during the proceedings but noted there are meetings planned for public input.

Flowers is connected to the Daughters of the Confederacy, an organization that erected the statue in 1918.

Other members include Mark Bowlin, Mike Cochran, Alfredo Sanchez, Meltzer, Howard Watt, Fred Rogers, Hudspeth and Tim Trylovich.

“It is my civil duty to participate and that is why I am here,” Trylovich said.

Trylovich mentioned creating a survey for citizens to share their opinions on the monument so they can hear from people who do not attend the commissioner court meetings.

Hudspeth has been protesting the statue for 18 years and has urged the commissioners court to put it on the agenda. In response, a plaque was placed next to the statue in 2010 to add context to the monument.

The commissioners court heard several citizen’s views on the monument during their weekly meetings on Tuesdays after a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville turned violent.

Some citizens want the statue to remain, saying it is a part of history and it is a monument to soldiers in the Civil War. Others want the statue to be removed because they believe it signifies racism.

The number of citizens speaking at the commissioner’s court caused Judge Mary Horn to limit their time to two minutes. The UNT Student Government Association responded as well by passing a resolution in support of removing the monument.

The court voted 4-1 in favor of the monument committee in October. The meetings are on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the 1896 room of the County Courthouse.

Featured Image: Members of the Confederate Monument Committee meet in the Denton County Courthouse on Nov. 30. Sara Carpenter

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Devin Rardin

Devin Rardin

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