There are five Democrats on the 19-member Jacksonville City Council. They couldn’t pass a bill without help from Republicans.
The Democrats got help from Republicans this week — help to defeat a bill sponsored by a Republican.
Council Member Al Ferraro, a Republican, had proposed an ordinance to hold a straw ballot on the issue of removing public monuments.
Removing statues and monuments they don’t like has been a fixation with liberal Democrats in the city for the past several years, following successful attempts to get government school names changed.
Ferraro got five other Republican votes to support his measure, which would have given the public a chance to weigh in on the controversy rather than just a small, loud crowd.
But the six Republican votes were obliterated by the eight other Republicans on the council who voted with the five Democrats to deny the public a chance to vote.
In favor of voting: Ferraro, Danny Becton, Randy DeFoor, Rory Diamond, Randy White and Kevin Carrico.
Opposed: Republicans Michael Boylan, Nick Howland, Ron Salem, Aaron Bowman, Matt Carlucci, LeAnna Cumber, Terrance Freeman and Sam Newby; along with Democrats Reggie Gaffney, Joyce Morgan, Ju’Coby Pittman, Garrett Dennis and Brenda Priestly Jackson.
City Council members are listed on the city’s Web site by name. Their email addresses and phone numbers are posted, along with the names of their aides and their districts.
Nowhere are the council members identified by political party. Is it because they are ashamed to be members of their parties?
Or maybe there are two Republican parties?
Various excuses were offered by the Republicans voting with Democrats. Some said the proposed ordinance was “too broad.” That’s nonsense because it was a straw ballot and did not direct any specific action to be taken on any particular monument.
Others said they were opting for a “community conversation” on an issue that has been the subject of community conversation for years. Every conceivable facet of the issue has been discussed and debated.
The coming “conversation” will be nothing more than an outpouring of liberal grievances and demands, intended to cash in on guilt the city’s resident are supposed to feel for their contribution to the 19th Century Civil War, which was zero.
When conservatives accede to liberal demands, the result it always more demands.
An alternative was the Unity Project, which was designed to preserve history and augment it with greater recognition of the parts all the city’s ancestors have played in its history. More inclusion, you might say.
Rather than unity and healing, there will be contention and quarreling and further attempts to revise history. Credit goes to the Republicans who sided with the Democrats to keep the issue from a public vote.