Pitt County Commissioners discuss future of Confederate statues


GREENVILLE, Pitt County - It's a hot-button issue that's not going away.

The last time this issue was brought before commissioners, dozens of community members spoke up voicing their concerns. Now the commissioners weighed in. Several commissioners spoke out against the removal of the Confederate monument that has stood in front of the Pitt County Courthouse for over a century. Commissioner Ann Floyd Huggins proposed writing a letter to the state legislature detailing the concerns the Confederate monument brings to some residents of Pitt County.

But not all agreed with that move.

"I don't support it," said Tom Coulson, who represents District B.

"I am in favor of us focusing on the things that unite us and not divide us," said Jimmy Garris, who represents District 5. "If I vote to send a letter to our governor asking him to give us permission to make a decision about monuments at a county level, then for me that would imply that I want to make changes to the current law."

Garris does not want any changes and supports the monument staying. Chairman Melvin McLawhorn spoke about the characteristics Pitt County was born upon.

"And when you have a monument or something that's detriment to that idea or principle, I think the decision needs to be made local in terms of how we can deal and administer that policy," McLawhorn said.

For Huggins, the letter is her way of bringing attention to something that has caused commotion and is one reason for adding it to the agenda.

"At least we can say to the citizens, 'I heard you'," Huggins said.

No action was taken and no motions were made to bring the issue back up at a future meeting.

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