Demopolis City Council tables monument talk

Spectators at the Demopolis City Council Thursday left the meeting disappointed when council members failed to take any action on replacing or repairing the Confederate monument.

The soldier atop the pedestal toppled when a Demopolis Police Department vehicle hit the statue last summer. Since then discussion has been going on whether to repair the statue or replace it with another structure, perhaps one to honor soldiers from all wars.

Mayor John Laney moved to postpone discussion on the statue until the committee looking into the situation makes a report, which should come by April.

The committee itself generated discussion when, during public comments, Phillip Spence questioned who serves on the committee and how it was appointed.

Laney said that former mayor Mike Grayson has a vote on the committee, but Laney took himself off to avoid conflict of interest. For that reason Councilman Charles Jones also will be asked not to vote but to serve as a mediator.

Spence then requested Police Chief Tommie Reese not vote since it was the DPD that caused the accident, an action Laney said would be “taken under advisement.”

Spence introduced Pat Godwin who represents the Alabama chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The UDC in Demopolis raised the money for the statue.

The council voted to amend the contract for the Jackson Street bridge replacement to add $9,818 for Wisener, LLC of Guntersville. The company will handle the property acquisition for the project in order to meet all requirements for the grant request.

The following appointments were made to city boards:

  • Airport: Darren Anderson, Terry Wendell and Gary Holemon
  • MCEDA: reappointment of Aliquippa Allen
  • IDB: Charles Singleton, Dr. William Hill and reappointment of Shawn Hall
  • Cemetery: Edith Scott reappointment
  • Hospital Building Authority: Tom Culpepper reappointment

In the only other action, Tiana Rivas received approval to hold a barbecue cook-off at the George Franks Field on March 18 as a benefit for cancer patient Tina Pope.