Proposal Would Strip Cities of Authority to Remove Confederate Monuments

Several conservative groups are mounting an effort to convince Gov. Greg Abbott to back a bill in the 2019 session of the Texas Legislature that would strip city councils of the authority to order the removal of Confederate monuments, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"Who is to say who makes the decisions on which monuments stay and which monuments go?" asked Wayne Ellison of New Braunfels, who is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. "I think a higher authority in the state should make that decision, like the Texas Historical Commission."

There is plenty of precedent for Ellison's proposal. The Republican dominated Legislature has repeatedly moved to strip the increasingly liberal led big cities of key rights, from annexation to tax collections.

Ellison says city councils are small groups which are easily swayed by loud voices, while the more numerous Legislature would be better placed to represent the true will of the people.

"City councils may get into a private room and whisper in each other's ear," he said. "One may be afraid to go against another one."

The decision by San Antonio City Council to remove the Confederate monument in Travis Park remains divisive, and councils in cities large and small across Texas have been faced with the same activists who convinced San Antonio council to act.

Several other states have removed the authority to remove Confederate monuments from local officials, and generally have handed it to an appointed board of historians.

"I'm just one of the many conservatives who get tired of getting run over by a small group of people who make decisions for the majority," Ellison said. "And I think the majority of people disagree with the decisions that they're making."

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