Hillsborough commissioners to debate future of Confederate Memorial next week
TAMPA — Next week, Hillsborough County Commissioners are expected to discuss what to do about the Confederate Memorial in downtown Tampa.
At Commissioner Stacy White’s request, commissioners at Wednesday’s meeting will debate not only the Confederate statue outside the old county courthouse, but all military memorials, according to a draft agenda.
The conversation by the commission will follow a call from one of their own, Les Miller, to remove the memorial, as well as a demand from Confederate advocates to put in place an ordinance to protect all monuments from removal.
Several dozen individuals showed up at last week's county commission meeting to protest Miller's suggestion. They held signs that said: "America builds monuments/We don't remove them."
Miller said the recent removal of Confederate memorials in New Orleans moved him to act now.
"It just fueled the fire that I had to get it done," Miller said. "But I wanted to make sure I did it the right way. I'm not going to say tear it down and take a chisel to it and make rocks out of it. It’s a part of history? Let it be somewhere that is a part of history."
Two years ago, county commissioners voted to remove a version of the Confederate flag that hung inside the county government center. At Miller's request, the flag was donated to the Tampa Bay History Center. White, who opposed its removal, ultimately voted to send it to the museum.
Miller would like to see a similar outcome for the Confederate Memorial, however, the History Center said it cannot accommodate the large statue.