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Savannah task force analyzing feedback about future of Confederate Memorial

Shelbey Roberts_confederate memorial_11_13_17.jpg
(Credit: Shelbey Roberts)

For two weeks, people gave the City of Savannah their thoughts on the Confederate Memorial in Forsyth Park via an online survey. Their options included keeping the monument, moving it, changing it or adding interpretive signage to provide more context.

"We've had folks who have completed the online survey, who have written the city of Savannah, who have made phone calls and who have also sent us email,” said city spokesperson Michelle Gavin.

She says a total of 5,037 responses came in throughout those two weeks.

Now the hard work starts. Representatives from a long list of groups concerned about the statues future are all part of Savannah Confederate Memorial Task Force.

Some of those groups include the Historic Savannah Foundation, Georgia Historical Society, Footprints of Savannah and Geechee Kunda. They’ll comb through the data.

"People who come from different backgrounds but all who also understand Savannah's rich history and have different viewpoints on that history,” said Gavin referring to the task force.

While the task force won’t have the final decision on how to move forward with the monument, they will use the survey results to offer suggestions.

Gavin stated, “They will review it individually and as a group and then provide a recommendation to the mayor and we expect the recommendation the very beginning of December."

At that point, the city will share what information was included in the feedback, according to Gavin.

But, no matter the memorial’s outcome, there will be some upset locals. Gavin says it’s a matter of listening to what Savannahians say they want.

"I think it's important to the mayor and the City of Savannah to understand what it's residents are asking for,” she said. “And I think it'll be a decision that hopefully this task force will be able to come up with a recommendation to give the mayor and alderman and then ultimately it'll be their decision on how we move forward."

The city encourages residents to still share their feedback with their district aldermen.