Citizens to have voice on fate of monument

Published 8:00 am Thursday, March 24, 2022

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The much-debated fate of the Confederate Memorial Monument that sits in the courthouse square may be a little closer to a decision by the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors (BOS).

The BOS will hold a public hearing on Monday, April 11, at 6:05 p.m for the purpose of receiving public comments regarding the proposed relocation of the Confederate Memorial Monument to a site adjacent to the Museum of Charlotte County as recommended by the monument roundtable discussion group.

During the November BOS meeting, the Facilities Committee, including former Supervisor Kay Pierantoni and Supervisor Tony Reeves, along with citizens who participated in the round table discussion, made recommendations to the Board on potential options for the monument located at the courthouse square.

The committee has recommended that the Board relocate the monument in front of the Charlotte County Museum, about 30 yards away from its present location.

According to county documents, three quotes were obtained to determine the cost of relocating.

The quotes range from $49,000- $60,000.

“A $60,000 cost was never imagined by anybody,” said Pierantoni during the November meeting.

The Confederate statue issue, which has faced many localities around the nation, was brought to the county’s forefront in July of 2020 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.

Despite several citizens having expressed their concerns about the Confederate statue that sits atop a pedestal in the courthouse square and if it should or should not remain there, the BOS decided not to make a decision on the matter in hopes that “things will cool down” and possibly hold a public hearing at some point after the beginning of 2021.

That never came.

It was during the Monday, March 8, 2021, BOS meeting that citizen Larry Clark addressed the Board during the public comment period to remind them of their decision and request that something is done.

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.