The Confederate monument in Hanover Square may be on borrowed time.
The Brunswick City Commission voted 4-1 Wednesday to remove it from the city park.
Before the deciding vote, Commissioner Johnny Cason made a motion to keep the monument at the site where it has stood since 1902.
“I can’t help but think it is best for everyone, whether pro or con,” he said. “I think we need to live sometimes with the hand you were dealt.”
Cason’s motion failed 3-2, with commissioner Julie Martin voting to support the motion.
Commissioner Vincent Williams followed with a motion to remove the monument with some caveats.
The monument won’t be removed until the pending resolution of legal challenges in other cities and counties in the state have been resolved.
Williams’ motion also called for interpretive plaques and markers be placed in Hanover Square near the monument to provide context about the American Civil War and the role played by Black soldiers.
The plaques and markers were part of a recommendation from a committee created to reach a consensus about the monument. The committee was unable to agree, voting 5-4 to keep the monument in its current location with markers to provide a more complete history of the region’s involvement in the American Civil War.
The motion to move it was seconded by Commissioner Felicia Harris. Cason cast the lone dissenting vote.
“I vote against moving the monument, period,” he said.
Martin voted to remove the monument with no explanation.
Mayor Cornell Harvey said markers should be erected near the monument until it’s removed to explain Black history in the region from slavery through democracy.
Harvey said there may be another compelling reason the city has the right to remove the monument. It’s on city property, and Harvey said it’s uncertain who owns it.
“I feel we should challenge even the state of Georgia,” said Harvey, who at a previous meeting had expressed concerns about the cost of legal actions to the city. “The statue does not belong to us, and it does not belong in that square.”