Confederate monument to return; when, where ‘big question’

9:15 a.m. Friday, Aug. 25, 2017 Warren County

UPDATE @ 9 a.m. 8/25/17: The Confederate monument removed earlier this month will be displayed again, but the “big question” is when and where, a Franklin Twp. official said.

Traci Stivers, administrator for the township, said “no final decision” was made at Thursday’s meeting that had a capacity crowd of 49 and another 100 people standing outside.

She said the township and city officials are working together for a resolution. She said the township has the monument and it’s being stored in a “secure location.”

Stivers said she doesn’t expect a resolution until at least the end of September when Franklin City Council holds its next meeting.

Those who attended tonight’s Franklin Twp. trustee meeting regarding a Confederate monument said they expect the removed Robert E. Lee monument to be erected somewhere, though no decision was made where or when.

The Franklin Twp. Administration Building’s meeting room was at capacity, so groups on both sides were outside, and at times argued about the issue.

The 90-year-old marker was in the right of way owned by the city of Franklin, and was removed in the early morning hours of Aug. 17 by city workers. Township officials have refused to say where the monument is nor what they plan to do with it.

Brandy Bailes was one of the 49 people allowed inside the meeting tonight and when she left the building at 8 p.m., she said trustees agreed to return the monument, though no official decision was made by trustees. She said because of “legal issues,” no timetable was announced.

Bailes wants the monument returned to its original location, at Dixie Highway and Hamilton Middletown Road, because that represents the reuniting of the North and South after the Civil War.

There were times throughout the meeting when the atmosphere outside the administration building got heated, especially when several people who said they represented the socialist party arrived. Words were exchanged, but there was a large presence of deputies from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and no arrests were made.

At one point, one man raised a large American flag and the group said the “Pledge of Allegiance.”

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