The City Deals with Controversial Flag Issue during City Council Meeting

The City Council was back at work with a very productive day on Tuesday, May 23rd with a work session and city council meeting. That morning, the Mayor and Council alongside the City Staff went through the entire proposed city budget for the next fiscal year. After this day spent on the budget, they continued onward that night by hosting their regular meeting where they handled many important items of business.

The first thing that was handled that night was a highly controversial issue. Mike Hanners, along with two state representatives of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, came before the council to request that that the Confederate flag be replaced at the Mulberry Grove Cemetery. For many years, the cemetery was known as the Stone Wall Jackson Cemetery, a cemetery that Hanners kept up for years. Recently, the ceremony renaming the Mulberry Street Cemetery saw the removal of that flag. Hanners and his group requested that the flag be replaced at the cemetery.

The Mayor and Council had some feedback from at least one person in the crowd that thanked them for removing the flag. There were two votes that were entertained that night dealing with this particular issue. The first motion that was passed was to erect a monument at the cemetery in recognition of Stone Wall Jackson Cemetery. The second motion that was carried stated that the only flags to be flown on all City property will be the flag of the United States of America, the Georgia State flag, and the flag of the City of LaGrange.

Under petitions and communications, there were two motions that were carried that night. The first was a wall sign variance for 25 W. Lafayette Square (the new Courtyard Marriott), allowing some flexibility in their signage. The second action taken was the approval for the City to place two pedestrian crossing signals on Fourth Avenue, right in front of Milliken. The hope is that these signals will make it safer for employees to cross the road at the plant.

Under resolutions, the Mayor and Council approved an endorsement of the LaGrange Housing Authority and Vantage Development’s application for Tax Credit for Phoenix Landing. This certifies the housing authority as a community based developer. With the hopeful approval of the tax credit, the LHA can focus on transportation, health care, and several other items of interest in the coming months and years.

The last thing on the agenda that night was the second reading of an ordinance amending the erosion, sedimentation, and pollution control ordinance, an ordinance which was passed. In the coming meetings, the budget will go through public hearings at the City Council meetings before a final vote towards the end of June.