Charlottesville City Council to Decide on Special Commission Monday

Posted: Updated: Apr 28, 2016 10:49 PM

Charlottesville City Council will decide Monday whether to appoint a special commission to deal with race, monuments, and city spaces.

The city is namely concerned about the impact of a Confederate monument downtown. Earlier this year Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy held a rally at Lee Park, calling for the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Lee Park.

Opponents of confederate monuments downtown say they create a hostile environment for African-Americans. Others say the statues help preserve Virginia’s history.

Some city leaders have recommended tearing down statues while others have suggested adding other monuments promoting African-American history as sort of an equalizer.

Charlottesville City Council met in a special work session Thursday night. Over the course of two hours, they discussed some goals for the potential blue ribbon commission.

The blue ribbon commission would study the confederate monuments and what the best monuments and what the best course action would be.
"It was the bricks and mortars of how to build this commission and now we're going to start looking at the people who were on it. We have a very talented community we can draw from, not just the citizens, but from the university and the state,” Bob Fenwick, Charlottesville City Council member.

The plan is to have a team study the issue over the course of six months.

The group will likely be allowed a maximum of $10,000 in city funding as it completes its work.

Editors note: A previous version of this story said Charlottesville City Council would meet on Wednesday, they met Thursday 

  • Viewer Poll

  • Some Charlottesville councilors are considering removing the General Lee statue and / or renaming Lee Park. What do you think should be done?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee, keep park name
    372 votes
    Rename Lee Park, keep the statue
    1398 votes
    Remove the statue and rename the park
    3541 votes
    Don't change anything
    21692 votes
    None of the above
    874 votes
  • RELATED ARTICLES: In Depth: Central Virginia Debates over Civil War Era Displays and Monuments