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Lake City Council sets date for Olustee monument discussion

Whether the special council meeting will be virtual or in-person has not been decided.
Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 11:45 PM EDT
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LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) -

After a number of ordinances were adopted by Lake City's council into their charter, members of the council wondered: How do we move forward with addressing people's concerns as the number of coronavirus cases rise?

Councilman Chris Greene said, “If we need to do the public’s business, whether it’s affordable housing or any other workshop, monument, anything. I think the responsible thing to do is to hold that virtually.”

While not on the agenda, people called in to question how the council will handle the monument at Olustee Park. The monument honors Confederate soldiers who lost their lives in the battle of Olustee.

Lake City resident Glenel Bowden said, "Don't see where that would be beneficial to have different people on each side of issue arguing back and forth and making presentations to the city council on the virtue of whether or not the monument should stay there or not. I think there's enough history, enough out in the public record that the city council can make a decision on removing it or replacing it or doing whatever they need to do."

The council was initially supposed to discuss moving the statue off of city property on June 15 but questions of ownership and cost plus phone calls with concerns delayed a decision.

Councilman Jake Hill said, "Those phone calls that we got, several meetings ago, I think it would be mutual for everybody if the monument was relocated. And this is at those calls that came in, nobody wants to destroy it and I don't want to destroy it but I feel like it needs to be in a different location."

The date for the discussion is set. A special meeting will be held on August 10 at 6pm. Whether or not that meeting is virtual is to be determined but council members agree, the talk was long overdue.

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