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Confederate soldier headed for fall referendum / August 13, 2020
The Halifax County Board of Supervisors agreed Monday night to call a voter referendum in November to ask county citizens if they want to see the Confederate soldier statute relocated from the courthouse square in Halifax.

“This is one of the strongest topics I’ve seen while on the board — having a referendum is an advisory and the only true way to canvas our community,” said ED-2 supervisor Jeff Francisco, agreeing with similar comments by Vice Chair Garland Ricketts and Ronnie Duffey of ED-4.

Board members voted 8-0 to move forward with the Nov. 3 referendum, which would be advisory and not bind the county board to removing the statue if members find reasons not to do so.

ED-8 supervisor William Bryant Claiborne initially asked to have a public hearing on the matter, but withdrew the motion. The county must ask to have the question placed on the ballot this month in time to meet the deadline for staging the countywide referendum.

County Administrator Scott Simpson came prepared with proposed resolutions for board members to consider at the special call meeting Monday in Halifax. The referendum to relocate the statue will be a simple yes or not question.

Simpson said he pulled out various options for a referendum from similar ballot initiatives in other counties.

“Voting is a great opportunity for everyone, it’s a great thing and a great turnout it will be,” said ED-6 supervisor Stanley Brandon.

Supervisors could have opted to hold a public hearing, which would have taken 30 days before they would have another chance to meet. A third option was to create a committee to come up with a solution. Both of these options would run past the time constraints for calling a referendum on a sensitive issue that board members indicated needed to be settled sooner than later.

A sizeable gathering attended the meeting at the Bethune Complex meeting room but there was no public comment.

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Removing statues here is not going to solve any problems. It will in fact, do exactly what the dems want and that is to cause division and much upset within our community. You cannot erase our history and if you try, will only succeed in showing how facts about this country don’t mean anything anymore and the people who fought and died for this country do not deserve remembrance. And that is truly sad.

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