JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Jefferson City Council voted 8-2 in favor in favor of a resolution to remove a monument donated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy Monday night.
The city now has the authority to remove the marker and place it into city-owned storage. The two dissenting votes were from Councilmen Mark Schreiber and Ron Fitzwater.
It's unclear the timeline of when the monument will be removed. Councilmembers and city commission have recommended it be replaced by something that "more accurately" tells the story of Jefferson City's role in the Civil War.
During the discussion Fitzwater presented an amendment to the resolution that would not remove the monument, but add storyboards, explaining it's context. That motion failed in a 2-8 vote, Fitzwater and Schreiber voting in favor.
"Again I do not condone what the daughters stood for," Fitzwater said. "But I think we can use it as an opportunity to educate."
Councilmembers who voted for the removal said that it lacks historical context and was placed there for the wrong reasons, including Laura Ward.
"I've heard it be called a symbol of peace, a maker of peace, a monument of peace. It is not that, it was not put there for that reason," Ward said.
The resolution was on the agenda Monday night after the council put off a vote to remove the Confederate marker in September. Ward 4 Councilman Ron Fitzwater made the motion at that meeting to remove the resolution from the agenda. The vote was 6-4 in favor, and the resolution was then sent to the public works and administration committees for more review.
The monument is a large rock that sits at Fairmount Boulevard and Moreau Drive in Jefferson City. It marks the October 1864 decision by Confederate general Sterling Price not to attack Jefferson City, where federal troops were stationed.
The monument has been a topic of conversation and debate after the Jefferson City Human Relations Commission and the city's historic preservation commission sent letters to the city council expressing concerns in late August.
The letter from the Human Relations Commission said the marker leaves out the context of the decision and that it offers a different version of historical events. The chairperson for the commission said in the letter that the panel is not simply calling for removal, but hopes for more context or a replacement.
Some members of the community have said that removing the monument would erase historical events. People on the other side have said the monument's message is misleading and that Price had no choice but to turn away given the federal strength in the state capital.
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