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Cville Council Member Bob Fenwick to Vote to Move Robert E. Lee Statue

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The Robert E. Lee statue in Lee Park The Robert E. Lee statue in Lee Park
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

In a press conference on Thursday, Councilor Bob Fenwick said he plans on voting to move the Robert E. Lee statue. It's a change of heart that could help break a stalemate in Charlottesville City Council. Fenwick made the announcement Thursday at CitySpace.

The future of the statue was left hanging after City Council couldn't reach a decision on moving it last week. The stalemate came after recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials, and Public Spaces, which spent months weighing options. 

Fenwick cast an abstention vote when the motion to move the statue of Robert E. Lee came up, but now, he says he's supporting the move. He says he couldn't support paying to move the statue until he felt more confident about the city's budget. He says he feels better about the budget after a work session earlier this week.

"I couldn't vote to keep the monument in place, but i was concerned that a vote to remove the monument would make it very difficult to successfully press for a turn of the city budget toward a people's budget and the protection of neighborhoods," Fenwick stated. "The community should know how I feel so this particular part of the issue can be put behind us and the community can come together and move forward."

Fenwick also wants to direct the state attorney general's office to let council know of any legal difficulties they may run into with this.

Fenwick did not speak to council members before calling the press conference Thursday morning. Council member Wes Bellamy did attend, but did not speak to the press.

  • 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
    1%
    166 votes
    Rename Lee Park, keep the statue
    4%
    784 votes
    Remove the statue and rename the park
    7%
    1307 votes
    Don't change anything
    85%
    16293 votes
    None of the above
    3%
    566 votes
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