Lake City Council members make a decision on the Olustee Monument

Council members decided to find an organization that will take responsibility of the Olustee monument
Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 11:12 PM EDT
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LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) - A nationwide trend of changing building names and removing statues that honor Confederate figures is again a topic of contention in a North Central Florida community.

After months of delay, Lake City council members held a special meeting to reach a conclusion on whether or not they'll move the confederate statue at Olustee Park.

The council faces obstacles in their decision making by not having clarity on park and monument ownership on top of a city ordinance that protects military monuments. A historian went over the origin of the statue and the role it's played in the community.

"Ultimately we have Olustee Park and we have Olustee memorial," said Historian Dr. Christopher Esing. "Now I'm not sure when the park name change was created but I do think that the name change comes around at least by 1911."

Public comment from callers gave both sides of the argument with some people saying removing the statue is erasing lake city history and others saying that the monument represents white supremacy.

"I think the best course of action is for this council to protect and preserve the Olustee battle monument by relocating it to private property such as the Lake City-Columbia County historical museum or other property owned by organizations dedicated to preserving local history," said Councilman Chris Greene.

Two motions were approved unanimously to pass the responsibility of the statue to a local private organization willing to care for it or pass it back to the state if no organization is found by the next council meeting on August 17.

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