Board of Commissioners Votes to Gift Confederate Monument to Sons of Confederate Veterans for Relocation
GASTONIA, N.C. – The Gaston County Board of Commissioners voted 6-1 at a special meeting Monday night to gift the Confederate Monument to the Sons of Confederate Veterans for relocation.
Monday night’s meeting saw public comment from 61 individuals that last more than two hours.
Commissioners Tom Keigher and Allen Fraley said the vote over the monument was one of the most difficult they had faced in their tenure on the board. Keigher said wrestling with the decision caused him “many sleepless nights,” before he made the choice to vote for relocating the monument.
“This has not just been a legal opinion for us,” said Keigher, who chaired the advisory Council of Understanding, which voted in favor of the statue’s relocation. “It has – in my opinion – been a moral decision.”
Fraley and Board Chairman Tracy Philbeck co-sponsored the resolution to gift the monument to the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans for relocation to private property.
Philbeck called the agreement a compromise that many on both sides of the debate could support.
The SCV now has six months to find a suitable alternative location for the monument that would allow for visitors to continue to view the statue. The County, per the agreement, will pay for the costs of the monument’s relocation.
In its place, the County plans place a monument to all Gaston County soldiers who have died in the line of duty.