CRESTVIEW — The Crestview City Council chamber overflowed with visitors Monday in anticipation of discussion about the Uncle Bill Lundy Memorial and the Confederate battle flag fluttering above it.
At Council President Robyn Helt’s request, the council unanimously agreed to schedule a special meeting to discuss the issue in a larger venue.
Local NAACP chapter President Sabu Williams' request to address the council on the matter was scheduled as the third topic under the regular City Council meeting's 10th agenda item.
Community leaders, out-of-town Confederate heritage group members and curious residents filled every available chair and stood in the back of the chamber and in the hallway.
Noting the large turnout and saying she wanted to assure everyone could be accommodated, Helt suggested removing the agenda item completely and rescheduling it.
Councilman Joe Blocker moved to call a special meeting to take action on the matter in a venue "that can hold a thousand people."
After caution by city attorney Jerry Miller to restrain from hyperbole in a legally binding motion, the motion was modified to holding the meeting at the Crestview Community Center.
Miller also reminded the council he had been tasked to research the actual ownership of the memorial’s small triangle of land at First and Hickory Avenues after city officials’ search proved inconclusive.
"I want to make sure when we schedule this meeting we have adequate time to research the facts and for legal counsel to prepare for it," Helt said.
After the council settled on a 6 p.m. Nov. 14 meeting, more than half the audience filed from the chamber.
WANT TO GO?
The Crestview City Council will hold a special called meeting 6 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Crestview Community Center to discuss the Uncle Bill Lundy Memorial.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.