The Amarillo Pioneer

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City Council Public Comment Period Draws Feedback on Confederate Statue, Golf Courses

During last night's meeting of the Amarillo City Council, residents from around Amarillo stood up to address the City Council on several issues including golf course fees and the confederate memorial statue in Ellwood Park.

The City Council chambers were full and another overflow room at City Hall was packed with people to hear comments on several issues, particularly the statue. Speakers identifying with Indivisible Amarillo, Amarillo's Freedom Riders and the Sons of the Confederate Veterans took the podium to address the council.

Jerri Glover, a member of Indivisible Amarillo, kicked off the meeting by making comments in favor of a possible relocation of the statue.

"We hope that those of you who were elected to represent all of Amarillo will do the right thing and work to relocate the statue to a more appropriate place, such as a local museum." Glover said during the meeting.

Mike Moore, from the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, discussed Civil War history during his time at the podium and said that he supports the statue staying put in Ellwood Park.

Several other speakers took the podium, echoing comments both in favor of keeping the statue and relocating the statue, as supporters of the comments stood in the background of the room to show support for their points of view.

Some speakers also suggested compromises such as letting voters decide on a relocation or erecting another statue designed by the Amarillo community.

According to a spokesperson for the Amarillo Historical Museum, the statue was originally erected in Ellwood Park by the Daughters of the Confederacy in 1931.

The discussion over the statue wrapped up without any formal action from the City Council.

Also during the meeting's public comment period, some residents addressed concerns over golf course fees at area golf courses. Nick Smart, a local golfer, expressed his disapproval at an upcoming increase in permit costs at local golf courses and said that the move by the City of Amarillo is not realistic.

"We understand increases [in permit fees] are needed to help with budgeting and totally expect our permits to increase," Nick Smart said, "However, making an increase from $930 to $1,400 is not realistic. We can assure you that our social security checks do not give us a 50 percent increase."

Following the conclusion of the public comment period of the meeting, the City Council moved on to the regular agenda of the meeting.

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