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Halifax County supervisors call meeting to mull next moves / August 06, 2020

The Halifax County Board of Supervisors will meet Monday night for a special called meeting to discuss what to do next after fielding requests to take down the Confederate soldier statue at the courthouse square.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the County Administration Office issued a notice of the meeting, which is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 10 at the Mary Bethune Complex in Halifax. It will be held in the second floor public meeting room.

The public notice, signed by County Administrator Scott Simpson, stated that “[t]he purpose of the meeting is to discuss the Monument located on the Courthouse grounds and any potential actions related to its status.” The announcement offered no further elaboration, and efforts to contact Simpson for comment were unsuccessful.

The planned discussion comes after supervisors heard from more than two dozen speakers on both sides of the issue at the regular monthly board meeting in Halifax on Monday night. Due to the large crowd that turned out for the discussion, the August board meeting was moved from the second floor conference room to the Bethune gym to allow for more spacing by the public.

Advocates of taking the statue down have asked that the Confederate soldier be moved to different location, such as the South Boston Halifax County Museum, that will allow for a fuller historical interpretation. They further asked the Board of Supervisors to name a committee to assess the statue’s future.

Others in the crowd at Monday’s meeting requested that the Board take no action on the statue. After a lengthy debate, supervisors moved on to the rest of their agenda without commenting on the matter.

The notice of the Aug. 10 special meeting does not indicate whether time will be allotted for members of the public to speak, but the session is open to the public.

Persons with questions or requiring special assistance to attend can call the Halifax County Administrator’s office at 434-476-3300.

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