DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The city of Dallas’ most prominent Confederate statue could come down as soon as Wednesday morning.
The city council is scheduled to vote at the start of its regular 9:00 a.m. meeting on “immediate” removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Lee Park.
The proposal comes as part of a larger measure, which would make the display of public Confederate monuments and the naming of streets and parks after Confederate figures against city policy.
It calls on city staff to “work with the appropriate committees, boards and commissions to remove public Confederate monuments and symbols and rename public places.”
“We have the vote to do the right thing,” said Dwaine Caraway, one of three council members behind the resolution.
The proposal singles out the Robert E. Lee statue, directing the city to “immediately remove” it and “store it at a safe location” out of public view, claiming that it is not a designated city landmark.
“There’s no time to wait. The last rally that we had was $75,000. Police lives were at risk,” said Caraway.
Council members Caraway and Tenell Atkins said that it would be up to the city manager T.C. Broadnax to determine how quickly the statue could be taken down.
Broadnax, meanwhile, declined to discuss specifics before the city council had even reached a decision. He did say that the city was already preparing for the possibility that the resolution would pass. When asked if the city could be bringing down the statue as early as Wednesday, he responded, “We could be.”
Dallas police said that they are aware of the vote and the potential for demonstrations in response to it. Sources within the department said that they are preparing accordingly, but would not discuss specifics.
“It’s a very valuable statue. I don’t think they’ll move it tomorrow. I think it’ll take a lot of engineering work,” former state representative Will Hartnett, who opposes the statue’s removal, said on Tuesday. Hartnett plans to speak to city council Wednesday morning in support of saving the statue.
“This is history we’re talking about saving. Also, I’m a Dallas taxpayer and I’m not excited about $1.2 million plus being burned to move these statues,” he said.
The city has estimated removing the Lee statue alone could cost around $500,000.
Another group called Dallas Citizens For Unity and Reconciliation also opposes removing the statue. The group has suggested compromises which include the renaming of Lee Park and a plaque that details the historical perspective of the Lee statue.