Supervisors discuss Confederate statue

Published 6:00 am Saturday, March 20, 2021

Last August, despite several citizens having expressed concerns about a Confederate statue sitting atop a pedestal in the Courthouse Square, the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors (BOS) decided not to make a decision whether it should remain or be removed in hopes “things will cool down.” They said they would possibly discuss the issue after the beginning of 2021.

That time has come.

During the Monday, March 8, BOS meeting, citizen Larry Clark addressed the board during the public comment period to remind them of their decision and request that something is done.

“If you are going to have a committee, it should reflect the ethnicity of the whole community,” Clark said.

Clark also said that he believed no BOS members should be on the committee.

In July 2020, the BOS had planned to create a committee made up of individuals from various community organizations to discuss the issue with the expectation they would make a recommendation to the board. The committee never originated.

During Monday’s meeting, Supervisor Kay Pierantoni said the issue falls under the facilities committee.

“This is a highly charged situation,” Pierantoni said. “I’m suggesting let’s start with a round table discussion, and I do think supervisors need to be involved.”

Supervisors discussed the possibility of holding a community meeting to gather facts so that the board’s facilities committee could gain better insight on the Confederate statue issue.

The Confederate statue issue, which has faced many localities around the nation, was brought to Charlotte County’s forefront last summer when citizen James Morton wrote a letter to the BOS.

“I think it is of utmost importance to remove the Charlotte County Confederate monument,” the letter from Morton said.

Morton said the issue was about government-sanctioned honoring of Confederate soldiers and not about erasing or hiding history.

The Charlotte County Confederate Memorial was erected in 1902 and stands in tribute to the Confederate soldiers of Charlotte County.

On Jul 1, 2020, new legislation took effect, giving cities and counties around Virginia the power to remove Confederate monuments they own and maintain under the new law.