After more than a month since the last discussion, the Parker County commissioners are expected to take action on the Confederate statue that sits on the courthouse lawn.
The special meeting will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday in the Parker County Courthouse.
The commissioners met on June 22 to discuss the removal of the statue; however, no action was taken after the statue’s ownership came into question.
The commissioners received a letter from the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy asking that the statue be relocated. But according to the Texas division of the UDC, it was not the Weatherford chapter’s call.
Texas UDC President Dorothy Norred said ownership had to be established before any action was taken.
Since that meeting, protests have sparked in the county from groups wanting it removed and groups wanting it to remain in place.
On Monday, Parker County Judge Pat Deen said the Texas UDC intends to move the statue once funding is available.
“Once they have the funds to move it, it is every intent of the daughters of the confederacy to move that statue. It’s illegal to use taxpayer funds to do anything with this statue,” Deen said in a previous interview with the Weatherford Democrat. “So this [meeting] will be to agree and approve that the statue can remain on the premise until the daughters of the confederacy — through donations, fundraising, whatever they do — has the funds to remove it from the property. It is earmarked to be moved and we’ve been informed in writing.”
The Democrat requested the written document from Deen and Norred, but did not receive one.
“Yes, I told Judge Deen that I had a place to move it. But, the decision to move it isn’t final yet,” Norred said. “At the commissioners court meeting on June 22 a motion was made and seconded to let the UDC chapter in Weatherford remove the monument. After discussion, it was determined that there needed to be more research completed on who actually owns the monument. The motion was tabled. The motion has not been brought from the table for a vote. Until there is a vote, I will not move forward.”
Norred said she could not release additional information at this time.
The Weatherford Democrat left messages for Deen Tuesday and Wednesday seeking additional comments, but did not receive a response. County Relations Officer Staci Markwardt said Deen is telling everyone to attend Thursday’s meeting.
Residents on both sides of the issue said they are planning to attend Thursday.
David Lee, with the Parker County Patriots, said the monument isn’t causing the problem.
“They’re wanting the statue or monument moved. The minute they get that done, what are they going to get next? Are they going after the courthouse? Our historical markers? Our historical properties that are here? That monument didn’t cause any problems,” Lee said. “I think we should all work together to bring our community together and make America stronger. I don’t want to be the voice of everybody in Parker County, I’m trying to show that being proactive versus reactive is way better. That’s why at the first commissioners court I stepped out there immediately and talked to Tony Crawford, Donnell [Manning], I talked to several that were out there.
“I understand that they have a feeling that they’re being held down because of a rock, but I can’t change what happened when I wasn’t here. I can only change what’s happening while I am here.”
Tony Crawford, a Weatherford native and member of the Parker County Progressives, said their side will be attending the commissioners meeting and is hoping to get a date set in stone on removal of the Confederate statue.
“We’d like to get it done. We’ve had some issues with believing each other on both sides and so we’re just looking for some clarification and the end,” Crawford said. “This has gotten out of hand and I want this to end before somebody gets hurt. We’re hoping that we get a date set in stone.”