The Monument Relocation Committee approved an official timeline on Wednesday for taking public comments, narrowing down a list of possible relocation sites and submitting a list of recommendations to Daviess County Fiscal Court.
The committee voted to submit a list of final recommendations to Fiscal Court by Nov. 11, well ahead of the committee’s six-month deadline.
A 3-1 majority approval established a timeline that would keep the recommendation process from being stretched into 2021. Committee members voted to establish the timeline as follows, with the option to amend or elongate the timeline if needed:
- Oct. 20 — Discuss public comments received; narrow down relocation sites to five
- Oct. 27 — Deadline for receiving public comments
- Oct. 28 — Choose top three relocation sites
- Oct. 29 — Contact top three relocation sites for viability
- Nov. 4 — Prepare list of top three recommendations or, if less than three, the committee’s final choices for relocation. Attempt a consensus on top three or fewer using validated facts, reasoning, feedback from public comments, etc.
- Nov. 11 — Discuss and approve recommendations; present final recommendation(s) to Judge-Executive Al Mattingly
Though committee member Anne Damron did not vote in favor of the timeline — expressing to the rest of the committee that she’d prefer a lengthier timeframe to receive public comments — members Tim Kline and Wesley Acton, along with chair Aloma Dew, voted in approval.
Committee member Kenny Barr was not present due to illness.
Dew said many of the public comments received thus far had been negative and unhelpful, and she felt at least one of them had been threatening — adding that she didn’t want to continue putting herself or the committee through more of that.
Based upon the public comments received thus far, Dew said her first choice as a relocation site was the Owensboro Museum of Science & History, a site she said had expressed interest in accepting the monument.
Views from the other committee members present at Wednesday’s meeting varied. Acton said he prefered Elmwood Cemetery. Kline said he had no preference but believed Elmwood Cemetery, the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art and the OMSH all had merit. Damron said she was undecided on a location at this time.
Damron’s primary concern was the statue’s safety.
“I don’t think either museum is viable. I’m concerned about the safety of the statue,” Damron said. “I’m not personally opposed to Elmwood because I think it’s a good fit, but I’m not sure about the security of the statue because there has been damage to tombstones there … I think there’s other peoples’ feelings to be considered.”
However, Dew said she believed the statue could be subject to potential vandalism in most public places.
“I think your concern about safety is legitimate, but I think that’s always going to be a problem if it’s at a public place,” Dew said. “Fortunately, we don’t have to make the final decision. We just have to decide the top ones.”
The committee’s next meeting will take place at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 28.