Meeting on what to do with Confederate memorial delayed

Published: Jul. 6, 2017 at 12:38 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2017 at 1:09 AM CDT
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CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - The long debate on what to do with the Confederate monument at the Caddo Parish Courthouse in downtown Shreveport hit a delay Thursday evening as the Caddo Commission Monument Advisory panel postponed the meeting.

The panel was supposed to announce their recommendations on what to do with the monument, but members voted to adjourn the meeting before it even started because one member wasn't there.

Panel member Andrew Prime made the motion to adjourn the meeting once he learned Jackie Nichols would not be allowed to vote on the phone.

Prime says Nichols is a key member as the secretary of the panel, and she's also a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

"As far as I know, there were at least 4 working versions of recommendations. I don't think our committee could have agreed on any single recommendation at this meeting tonight," said Prime. "I don't think anything could have been accomplish tonight, and I just thought it was better to reschedule it at a time when our secretary and probably our most informed person on the committee could be present."

Chairman RJ Johnson says the panel has never postponed a meeting before.

He later stated they have always held their meetings regardless of absences.

"So today was a surprise that committee members chose not to do the work of the parish, chose not to have a discussion and chose to adjourn it based on one committee member not being present," said Johnson.

The panel was expected to present at least 1 drafted recommendation and vote whether or not to present it to the Caddo Commission.

The Caddo Parish Long-Range Planning/Special Projects Citizen Advisory Committee and its monument advisory subcommittee have been working to craft their recommendations for almost a year.

At one point, there were four different recommendations regarding placement of the monument, whether it should stay or be moved, said Gary Joiner, vice chairman of the panel's monument advisory subcommittee.

Johnson says he is hoping to reschedule the meeting sooner rather than later.

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