Add Lakeland to the list of cities where monuments to the Confederacy are being relocated following the racially motivated killings of nine people at a Charleston, S.C., church and the killing in Charlottesville, Va., of a woman protesting a white supremacy rally.
City commissioners capped a long and emotional meeting this afternoon with a 4-3 vote to relocate a monument erected in 1910 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to a location other than the center of Munn Park.
When city commissioners consider the future of the Munn Park Confederate monument on Monday morning, they’re expecting lots of comments from residents. So today they set some special rules for the meeting:
- People who want to speak will be asked to place their name and address on a sign-in sheet.
- Speakers will be called in the order in which they signed up.
- Comments will be limited to three minutes per speaker, rather than the customary five minutes.
Lineman Joshua Lindsey was fired following an accusation that he was responsible for the theft of memorabilia from the San Juan airport just before utility crewman flew back from power restoration work in Puerto Rico. Lindsey says he will hire a lawyer because he has “been done wrong.”
Lakeland votes again Tuesday. This time there’s only one item on the ballot: a City Commission race. One contestant says he brings a needed small-business owner’s perspective to City Hall. The other says he offers management and budget experience he gained as president of several colleges.
Gary W. Ballard, 60, retires as Lakeland’s fire chief Dec. 15 after starting with @LakelandFD 40 years ago as a firefighter. He became fire chief in 2010. His successor, to be announced in early December, will be one of two assistant chiefs: Rick Hartzog or Doug Riley. #lkld pic.twitter.com/qwqUrenq00
— lkld now (@lkldnow) November 21, 2017
Chief Ballard’s biography on the city website.
Douglas Park will be built on 18 acres on Carpenters Way donated to the city by Lake Gibson Village | City manager’s recommendation
Representatives of two churches, the NAACP and other organizations asked the City Commission today to relocate the Confederate monument away from the center of Munn Park. (Ledger coverage) Here are tweets about their requests:
City Commission is discussing a draft resolution on Munn Park monuments. After today, the resolution will be revised by the city attorney, and commission will vote on it Dec. 4. #lkld pic.twitter.com/Kwb7u8nKA6
— lkld now (@lkldnow) November 17, 2017
The resolution keeps the current Confederate monument in place but asks city staff to draft a plan to allow other monuments celebrating ethnic groups that settled here.
Commissioners are expecting a large turnout Dec. 4 from citizens who want to comment about the future of the Confederate monument in the center of the park.
As a result of today’s discussion, the city attorney will revise the proposed resolution above to say that a master plan could include additional monuments in parts of downtown outside of Munn Park.
Read Ledger coverage. Check tweets from today’s meeting after the jump.