AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) It’s been a part of August for nearly 140 years, its future is secured by state law that prohibits its removal even if Augusta leaders or voters wanted that, and that’s troubling to some.
“Let’s have local control probably it was local people who put it up or were in favor or it way back when it should be the local people who have the right to take it down,” said Julie Petrides of Augusta.
NAACP and others have called for the monument removal, but right now it’s a controversial subject Augusta leaders have not taken on.
“You have two issues you have people who are for the monuments and people who are against the monuments but I feel local control on any issue is very important not necessarily that,” says Commissioner Andrew Jefferson.
State law prevents commissioners from taking action on the statue however state senator Harold Jones says he’s supports proposed legislation that would put the decision making power on confederate monuments and markers in the hands of local governments and not the state.
“I think Locals should have an opportunity to do that I think that’s an encroachment on local authority we ought to look into that it’s bigger than just the monument issue when you start talking about the state telling locals what they can do at that kind of level that become problematic if I sponsored it or my name is on it I will be part of it,” said State Senator Harold Jones.
I applaud Senator Jones for taking that particular step but it’s going to take all of us he can’t drive the train by himself it’s going to take different entities within our local community,” said Reverend Melvin Ivey of the Augusta Chapter of the NAACP.
“I think that local control would be a very good idea and take the pressure off the state,” said Petrides.
Senator Jones says he would welcome a resolution from Commissioners supporting local control on the monuments, commissioners I talked to say they’ll wait to see what happens this session in Atlanta.