Charlottesville Parks and Recreation to Find Shroud to Cover Confederate Statues
Following a chaotic Charlottesville City Council meeting, councilors discussed issues relevant to what residents brought up.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - People in the Charlottesville community the city councilors are pushing forward after a chaotic council meeting on August 21.
A group of protesters shut down the meeting once councilors began speaking. Attendees demanded answers from councilors about their part in the Unite the Right rally and accused the councilors of not properly responding to several things surrounding the event.
The council allowed an extended public comment period so that people in attendance could be heard.
"They were really traumatized and very angry and they needed us to hear kind of how they were feeling and I think at the beginning of the meeting we weren't really planning for that in a very good way. It quickly became apparent that a regular meeting was not appropriate,” said councilor Kristen Szakos.
The council took a brief recess following the comment period and answered some questions brought up. They decided to bring motions forward that were relevant to the nights’ discussion.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Department is now working on buying a shroud to cover the Robert E. Lee statue in Emancipation Park and the one of Stonewall Jackson in Justice Park. It is the councilors hope to cover them as quickly as possible.
Szakos brought that motion forward during the meeting. Covering the statues was not an item that was regularly planned on the agenda, but the council felt it was necessary to vote on it Monday night.
It was a unanimous vote to put shrouds on the statues to represent mourning.
Councilors also moved forward with getting approvals to remove the statues from the Board of Architectural Review, if state litigation over the removal of the Lee Statue goes in their favor.
The preliminary hearing over the Lee Statue is set for September 1. Council will formally vote on removing the Jackson Statue in Justice Park on September 5.
Council will also discuss renaming the portion of Fourth Street after Heather Heyer who died there after a car attack.
The city will also conduct a review of all events that unfolded during the Unite the Right rally.
Police identified the three people who were arrested at that raucous meeting.
They are 43-year-old Donna Gray, who is charged with disorderly conduct, 30-year-old Mark Heisey, and 29-year-old Sara Tansey. Tansey and Heisey are both charged with obstruction of justice.
Police released them and issued summons.