Georgia mayor: Voters could decide Confederate monument fate

Voters in a coastal Georgia city could decide the fate of the town’s Confederate monument.

Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey says he has asked the city’s attorney to research whether the question of moving the monument from a downtown square can be decided by city voters.

“Why not leave it up to the citizens of Brunswick to vote on this?” he told The Brunswick News.

Harvey took the step after a nine-person committee deadlocked without making a recommendation over whether to destroy the monument, move it, or keep it in Hanover Square, where it has stood since 1902.

“There was a deep set of opinions,” Harvey said. “Nobody said they would compromise.”

The mayor plans for city commissioners to hear public comment on the issue Wednesday, and could schedule another public comment session for Sept. 23.

Some are calling for a marker or monument commemorating the service of the Black soldiers who camped on St. Simons Island while serving in the Union Army during the Civil War. Others say a marker should instead be located next to a monument for Black soldiers.

Debate over the Confederate monument flared after the letters BLM, for Black Lives Matter, were painted on it.