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Denton County Commissioners Court votes in favor of advisory committee

Denton County Commissioners Court votes in favor of advisory committee

October 26
22:42 2017

The Denton County Commissioners Court voted 4-1 on Tuesday in favor of an overall advisory committee regarding the Confederate monument on the Denton Square. Details on how the committee will operate have not been discussed yet.

The dissenting opinion came from Commissioner Hugh Coleman who proposed deferring the issue to the Office of History and Culture. He suggested that the court respond after the Office of History and Culture make a recommendation.

Denton County Judge Mary Horn voted for the overall advisory board but wanted to focus on a new plaque.

“My priority is a new plaque with context that is historically accurate,” Horn said. “That is my push.”

The discussion between the commissioners and citizens lasted nearly two hours and centered around two different advisory boards. Horn placed the “Confederate Soldier Memorial Plaque Committee” on the agenda and Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell placed the overall advisory committee on the agenda, which will discuss all solutions for the monument.

Both of these agenda items were discussed at the same time.

“We don’t have a dispute,” Horn said. “We entered into this to have a discussion and that’s why I’m taking up both agenda items at the same time so we can talk about the whole thing.”

Horn said the court’s job is to decide on their recommended action regarding the statue, but the Texas Historical Commision has to approve any proposal.

Most of the citizens spoke in favor of the overall advisory committee. Jennifer Lane, a local activist and UNT professor asked several questions about what a new plaque will consist of and how the historical accuracy will be measured. These questions were not answered at that time.

Mat Pruneda, who is running for Texas House District 64, said he was not a fan either advisory board.

“They perpetuate what seems to be the problem right now and they hold the status quo,” Pruneda said.

Sandy Swan, a speaker at the meeting, saw no reason for the plaque committee when the subject can be brought up to the overall committee.

Coleman took issues with many of the speakers saying he was being personally attacked.

“They want to talk at you but they truly don’t want to have a discussion,” Coleman said.

He also said Willie Hudspeth, who has been protesting the monument since 1999, has been telling him what he thought for years without ever talking to him.

Sandy Swan spoke about the commissioner’s behavior in the meeting.  

“I do feel that some of the commissioners have been mocking, openly laughing and interrupting the speakers,” Swan said. “You ask that we get to the point and you ask that we are respectful. I ask the commissioners to do the same. To please stick to the points and to please respect the public.”

Horn addressed the citizens who shared their opinions before moving to the vote.

“We have a lot of heartfelt feelings on the subject and I think it’s important that citizens have an opportunity to express themselves,” Horn said. “Although, sometimes they have a hard time getting to a point and draw on a little too long, longer than I would like.I do, nonetheless, express thanks for people taking the time to be here and expressing their opinion.”

Featured Image: The Confederate monument sits in front of the Denton County Courthouse. The monument reads “Our Confederate Soldiers” on top with a statue of a Confederate solider on top of the arc. Zoee Acosta

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Devin Rardin

Devin Rardin

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1 Comment

  1. Neil Nevins
    Neil Nevins October 27, 08:06

    I love Denton, so I’m ready for this statue to be taken out of the square so this community can feel truly beautiful without being tarnished by a racist past

    Reply to this comment

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