Hattiesburg City Council supports relocation of Confederate monument

Updated: Jun. 16, 2020 at 7:45 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg City Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday night supporting the relocation of a Confederate monument from its current location outside the circuit court building in downtown Hattiesburg.

This comes after the Forrest County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Monday to put the issue of relocating the statue on the ballot in November. The monument sits on Forrest County property and the city has no legal authority to move it.

Last week, Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker called on the Forrest County Board to begin searching for a more appropriate place for the monument to be located, offering the city’s assistance in doing so.

Tuesday’s City Council resolution was introduced by Ward 1 Councilman Jeffrey George.

“The City Council of Hattiesburg, Mississippi hereby affirms its strong support for the relocation of the Forrest County Confederate Monument from its current location in Downtown Hattiesburg to a suitable location that provides appropriate contextual value and preserves the history of the monument," wrote George in the resolution.

George read the resolution aloud before it passed unanimously.

“I’ve been able to listen to those individuals but also have conversations with people that I have worked with for years, both as a student at Southern Miss and before that, just about their experiences, and it helped make me realize how a monument like the Forrest County Confederate monument has such a negative impact on them,” George said.

Forrest County Board Attorney David Miller came before the council about the Confederate monument asking the council to consider allowing the county to move the statue to Oaklawn Cemetery and split the cost of the relocation if the people vote to do so.

Councilwoman Deborah Delgado also mentioned a list of Confederate street names and symbols around the city her constituents have told her need to be renamed.

Delgado said she will present them at the next council meeting

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