Removal of Confederate Memorial back up for discussion by Board Of County Commissioners

Posted at 5:17 PM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-14 17:17:16-04

"I'd rather just save the money. It's not yelling at anybody or anything like that," said Vincent Donofrio.

$200 thousand...that's what it will cost to take down a Confederate Veterans' Memorial in downtown Tampa.

"I had hoped this community had moved past this controversy. It's a very painful subject," said Kelly Benjamin, Tampa for Justice.

Social activists like Benjamin thought the Confederate memorial was gone for good after a mid-July Hillsborough County Commission vote.

"For them to reverse course and rehash this decision would be a slap in the face for members of this community," said Benjamin.

But when Commissioners gather Wednesday for an update not the removal process, the door is open for other ideas.

"This really should be put on a referendum of the people, for the people to vote," said David McCallister, Save Southern Heritage.

McCallister wants the issue on the ballot.

There's also still the chance for Commissioners to propose an ordinance to protect all veterans' memorials again which was originally Commissioner Victor Crist's idea.

Still some are concerned the statue could become a lightning rod for more controversy after what happened this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"I don't want to see it happen myself. The Save Southern Heritage folks and the Southern community, we cherish history just like President Trump admonished us to do," said McCallister.

That's one thing both sides agree on-- violence is not part of the debate.

"I believe anything is possible right now. We are living in a very divisive period," said Benjamin.

A GoFundMe page has raised around $7 thousand to relocate the memorial.