Monday, June 29, 2020

In my Georgia county, there are calls to remove a monument to the Confederacy installed in 1993; here's who voted for & against installing it & why


Via New Confederate monuments are still being built across the country — even in Union states by Kimberly Kindy Julie Tate, Washington Post, October 8, 2017:
At least 50 smaller Confederate monuments have been built since 1990, including a bronze statue near a courthouse in Cleburne, Tex., and a tombstone-shaped monument on the grounds of a public elementary school in Prattville, Ala. Even Union states have them: Two Confederate monuments have been erected in Iowa in the past 12 years.

Newer monuments are popping up mostly in rural towns and tend to laud foot soldiers rather than Confederate generals and political leaders. All but seven are in Confederate states and 60 percent are on public land.
Via Gwinnett Solicitor General Brian Whiteside asks for removal of confederate monument in Lawrenceville, says it's been a target of vandals by Curt Yeomans, Gwinnett Daily Post, June 27, 2020:
Gwinnett County Solicitor General Brian Whiteside is asking the county commission to remove a controversial Confederate memorial from the Lawrenceville Square that the prosecutor said has been the target of vandals multiple times recently.

Whiteside’s request comes one week after Gwinnett County commission District 1 candidate Kirkland Carden and former 7th Congressional District candidate Nabilah Islam launched a petition calling for the monument’s removal. The memorial stands on the grounds of the Gwinnett County Historic Courthouse and was erected in 1993.
I live in Gwinnett County and was curious to know how the monument came to be so I filed a public records request with the county. The key responsive records from Spring 1992 are posted below; click here to download.

Via the minutes of a commission meeting, here's how commissioners voted after reviewing a February 24, 1992 memorandum from Human Services Director Mike Huff and a presentation by Bob Biggers. (I obtained the identifiers below from county Communications Director Joe Sorenson; he didn't know who Mr. Biggers was. (If you do or if you have other information to share, please email me.)


W.J. Dodd, District 1 Commissioner, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners (1989 – 1992) [Dodd also served as Sheriff from 1969 through a portion of 1985]

Doug Williamson, District 2 Commissioner, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners (1991-1994)

Renee Unterman, District 4 Commissioner, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners (1991 – 1994)

Lillian Webb, Chairman, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners (1985 – 1992)


Curtis McGill. District 3 Commissioner, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners (1989 – 1992)

The only name I recognize is Renee Unterman who was recently defeated in a bid to represent my congressional district. If time permits, I'll ask her and any other surviving commissioners for comment.