The Denton County Confederate Memorial Advisory Committee was created to help solve the issue surrounding the controversial statue located in front of the Courthouse on the Square. The advisory committee met this past Thursday to hear from local professionals and present their answers to specific questions that Committee Chair John Baines had presented to them. Baines stressed that their goal should be to continue to work towards a consensus, and it indicated that for the committee to have any impact, a considerable consensus of at least 12-3 would need to be met by the 15-person committee.
To begin the meeting, the committee heard from Sheila Randolph, an attorney that operates out of Fort Worth. Though she is not a resident of Denton County, Randolph spoke on her experience as both a descendant of slaves and confederate soldiers. She emphasized the need to recognize sacrifice, and as descendant of a confederate soldier, she spoke on the positive experience she had being accepted into the United Daughters of the Confederacy organization despite her being African American.
Following her presentation, the committee listened to Glen Nerwin of Nerwin and Martin Fine Art Services discuss the potential cost of relocating the memorial. He stated that the memorial was well-constructed, and that it is in very good shape; he believed that it would come apart fairly easy should county officials choose to relocate it. Despite this, he also stated that should it remain in its current location, the memorial would need some maintenance work. He estimated the cost of relocation at roughly $40,000 to $60,000, with $60,000 being the worst case scenario.
The committee concluded its meeting by discussing their personal thoughts on the memorial’s possible relocation. The committee seems to be mostly split on the idea of relocation, with the majority seemingly leaning towards opposing relocation. Baines appears to favor relocation himself, and he concluded the meeting with an impassioned presentation that proposed relocating the memorial and replacing it with a new memorial that honors veterans of all American conflicts. The committee will meet again this week to present their final arguments and attempt to reach a consensus.