Confederate Monument in Tampa Will Stay Put

Hillsborough County commissioners have voted 4-3 to keep a confederate soldier's monument in front of the old county courthouse and paint a diversity mural behind it.

Commissioners Les Miller, Al Higgenbotham and Pat Kemp voted against the idea and wanted the monument removed.

The vote ended a three-hour emotional debate.  Dozens of citizens spoke passionately for the preservation of a war memorial as well as those who say it's a symbol of racism and bigotry and needs to come down. 

Miller initially proposed removing the monument and donating it to the Daughters of the Confederacy, which provided the monument in the first place back in 1911.

But Miller's motion was quickly overshadowed by a substitute motion by commissioner Stacy White that would ban the removal of all war memorials.

Then, commissioner Victor Crist made another substitute motion--to keep the memorial where it is and paint a "diversity mural" on the 10-foot-high wall that surrounds the monument.  

Commissioners narrowly approved both White's and Crist's proposals, allowing the monument to remain.

County staff is supposed to return in a couple weeks with the particulars on the diversity mural and the war memorial ordinance.

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