Feb 1, 2023 - News

Manatee County Confederate memorial debate pushed

A photo of a monument to confederate soldiers in Bradenton, Fla.

The base of the granite obelisk commemorating Confederate generals and soldiers. It stood in front of the Manatee County courthouse until 2017. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Manatee County commissioners postponed a vote Tuesday on whether to re-install a Confederate monument on the lawn of the county courthouse, where it was removed following a wave of protests in 2017.

What happened: The commission was poised to discuss bringing back the memorial at Tuesday's board meeting, after several residents raised the idea last month. But commissioners said the issue had been removed from the agenda at the last minute.

  • The commissioners in attendance said they didn't know who withdrew the agenda item or why. Commissioner Vanessa Baugh, who expressed support for the monument at an earlier meeting, was absent.

Of note: The county hadn't returned Axios' request for records regarding the matter as of late Tuesday.

What they're saying: About a dozen protesters showed up, denouncing the monument that stood in Bradenton for more than 90 years as a symbol honoring white supremacy and racism.

  • "I don't understand how reasonable people think it's OK to erect a monument that glorifies crimes against humanity," resident Tina Shope told commissioners.

Some commissioners appeared to have soured on the proposal after hearing from outraged constituents.

  • "I think this is a conversation that didn't need to happen," Commissioner George Kruse said at the meeting. "I'm not using taxpayer money to fix this thing."

What's next: Kruse said he wanted the item on a future agenda so it could finally be resolved.


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