Cordele Commission revisits Confederate statue removal

Published 3:28 pm Wednesday, June 22, 2022

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By Neil B. McGahee

Managing Editor

The Cordele City Commission met Tuesday evening and after hearing each department head’s goals and accomplishments, turned to the six agenda items to be discussed.

After a second reading, the commission approved an ordinance that provides a per diem for reimbursement of actually and necessarily incurred expenses for members of the commission.

They also approved an application for a demonstration permit by Davontae Hunt for June 23 and 24, 2022 at 11 am each day.

“Per request of the city manager,” Deriso said. “A discussion to rescind a motion of a 3 to 1 vote to remove or relocate the Confederate statue at the community clubhouse. That’s how it should be entered into the minutes Do we have a motion to rescind?

City Manager Angela Redding said she had a clarification.

“Chairman, a clarification, I did not request a motion for the…”

“I did not recognize you ma’am,” Deriso interrupted, as Redding continued to try to offer a clarification. “I did not recognize you,” the Chairman repeated.

Commissioner Vesta Beal-Shephard attempted to intervene but she was quickly cut short.

“Either we got a motion or we don’t,” Deriso said.  “You all have been doing this for years but we are going to follow the proper order. We can’t discuss this without a motion.”

Deriso presented his first list of the evening; a request to discuss the creation of a new commission named the “Non-Profit Westside Alliance” to carry out planning and coordination of community and civil work and events to improve the Westside of Cordele. The motion died for lack of a second.

His second request was to reconsider his initial request for an office, an administrative assistant and a reserved parking space for himself. Commissioner Owens said he thought this was voted on at the last meeting, but that question was out of order.

“I want to be clear,” Deriso said. “Before you speak, you must also recognize the chair. I have been letting that slide.”

Owens restated his comment but the subject died for lack of a motion.

The commission moved to the city manager’s report.

“Good afternoon commissioners, audience,”

“And chair,” Deriso added.

“And chair,” Redding said.

The Cordele City Commission will meet on Tuesday, July 5 at 5:30 pm at Cordele City Hall.