Buncombe County is committing funds to help with the community visioning process following the City of Asheville’s removal of the Confederate-era Vance Monument. During their April 6 meeting, Commissioners approved up to $35,000 to assist the City in a future plan for the site. This move supports the recommendation of the Joint Vance Monument Task Force, which spent months taking public input and discussing what to do with the landmark on the heels of last summer’s decision to also remove two Confederate statues.
After the monument is removed, the funding will be used to execute a comprehensive community visioning process resulting in a plan that guides the future repurposing of the Vance Monument site.
For more information, please see the attached document, and to follow this process please visit publicinput.com/VanceMonumentTaskForce.
On June 9 and June 16, 2020, the Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, respectively, passed a joint resolution to remove two confederate statues located at the Buncombe County Courthouse and Pack Square Park, and to establish a jointly appointed task force to recommend action regarding the removal, relocation or repurposing of the Vance monument.
The Joint Vance Monument Task Force (JVMTF) consisted of 12 members whose appointments were made in equal numbers by the two governing boards. It was the intent of the governing boards of the City of Asheville and Buncombe County that the Vance monument is replaced or altered in such a manner as to honor the local history of African Americans. The JVMTF was tasked with gathering citizen input, particularly from those most impacted by the monuments, participate in public dialogue, and present the governing boards a final recommendation within three months of the completion of all membership appointments. After 12 weeks of information gathering and deliberation, the work was completed and the JVMTF voted to remove the Vance Monument on Nov. 19, 2020. The Board of Commissioners accepted this recommendation on Dec. 7, 2020.