JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Three members of the Jacksonville City Council say they support the removing of the Confederate monument at Springfield Park, which it was recently revealed could cost more than $1 million to do.
A news release from the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville reveals statements from three different City Council members, who each backed the removal of the monument.
On Wednesday, Councilman Matt Carlucci, who recently announced he’s running for mayor, publicly released a statement supporting the removal of the statue in Springfield.
“We applaud Council members Matt Carlucci, Reginald Gaffney and Ju’Coby Pittman for having the political integrity to move the city forward in the right direction. We expect that there will be others who will also come on board,” Frazier said in a prepared statement.
According to an email obtained Sunday night by News4Jax from the city to City Council, the potential $1.29 million price tag to remove the Women of the Southern Confederacy monument from the park does not include additional expenses that would be related to storing or preserving the statue. The email, which came from Chief Administrative Officer Brian Hughes, said the city will soon ask the Council to approve the legislation to remove the monument.
In June 2020, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry ordered that the Confederate statue in what was then known as Hemming Park, now James Weldon Johnson Park, be removed. At that time, Curry also announced that all Confederate monuments in the city would be removed.
The Northside Coalition last month called for Curry to follow through with that promise. Its email to the City Council once again renews that call.
Frazier says the monument is a symbol of racial issues plaguing the city.
“What we have is a major problem with racial relations that few white politicians really want to admit. They want to look the other way and act as everything here is OK. It’s not,” Frazier said.
Carlucci told News4Jax he came to the decision after months of conversations with constituents.
“I just think that it’s time to handle that issue. So, I made that decision that I thought the statue should be removed and I think it will bring a healing to Jacksonville amongst a lot of people and help Jacksonville move ahead to the future,” Carlucci said.
Seber Newsome, who lives in Yulee, is a supporter of keeping the monument where it stands. He called Carlucci’s endorsement a political stunt, and he believes the total cost of moving the monument will be higher than the $1.29 million.
“That’s a low-ball figure. Then what? Another 1.3 million to put it back together again,” he said.
It will take a majority vote in City Council to get the monument moved out of Springfield.