A Monument Citizens' Commission was approved to be formed during the Kaufman County Commissioners’ Court meeting on July 14. The commission will recommend the fate of the Confederate soldier statue in front of the Kaufman County Courthouse, which has recently sparked protests. County Judge Hal Richards and Commissioners Mike Hunt, Skeet Phillips, Terry Barber, and Ken Cates will each appoint three members to form the new commission.
Those who spoke Tuesday were mostly in favor of forming the commission.
“The question we must ask all of ourselves, is who are we as a community, and does the monument represent Kaufman County?” asked Jamichael Palmer of Terrell. “Monuments are symbols of progress, and we as a county have moved beyond racist symbolism represented by Confederate statues.”
Kaufman Mayor Jeff Jordan acknowledged the need to study the issue.
“This is not something that’s going to go away, and we're going to have to address it,” he said.
Not everyone was in support of forming the commission, such as Commissioner Barber, who voiced concerns about the commission not being a fair reflection of county residents.
“I’m afraid this committee is going to divide people even more,” he said. “If there's an avenue where we can vote, then yeah!”
While voting on the issue was discussed, the court was informed that putting the issue on a ballot would require approval by the state legislature. Ultimately, a compromise was made when Judge Richards suggested allowing each commissioner and himself to appoint three members to the new commission, rather than one member per person as initially discussed.