After four months of meetings, public input, and deliberations, the Vance Monument Task Force co-chairs presented their recommendation to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners on Dec. 7. Previously, the task force voted 11-1 for removal of the Confederate-era obelisk and to prioritize outside funding for the undertaking of the initiative. Since Vance Monument is located on City property, the County has no legal saying in the matter. However, Commissioners voted to unanimously accept the task force’s findings and direct staff to coordinate with the City of Asheville on future actions. Asheville City Council will take up the matter next at its Dec. 8 meeting.
“I’m impressed at the number of people that were interested in serving on this task force who brought ideas, experience, and insights,” noted Commission Chair Brownie Newman. “I appreciate everyone who served in this process to deliberate and gather community input.”
The Vance Monument Task Force is comprised of 12 community members, with equal appointments made by the County and City. Over the course of roughly 12 weeks, the group held virtual meetings and online public input sessions to help them arrive at their recommendation to remove Vance Monument. Chairman Newman stated he was impressed by the collaboration and compromise members of the task force exhibited, “Not everyone that started this process had the same perspective… folks appointed to the task force represented all views.”
The County has not dedicated any funding to the next steps of the process, but Chairman Newman noted, “They are prepared to consider additional support if needed.” You can read more about the Vance Monument Task Force and watch previous meetings and public input sessions here and see the PowerPoint presentation below.