After four months of meetings, public input, and deliberations, the Vance Monument Task Force presented its recommendation to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners on Dec. 7, 2020.
Previously, the task force voted 11-1 to remove the Jim Crow-era obelisk and to prioritize outside funding for undertaking the initiative.
Because Vance Monument is located on City property, the County has no legal say in the matter. However, Commissioners voted unanimously to accept the task force’s findings and direct staff to coordinate with the City of Asheville on future actions.
“I’m impressed at the number of people that were interested in serving on this task force who brought ideas, experience, and insights,” noted Commission Chair Brownie Newman. “I appreciate everyone who served in this process to deliberate and gather community input.”
The Vance Monument Task Force comprised 12 community residents, with six appointments each by the County and City. Over the course of roughly 12 weeks, the group held virtual meetings and several online public input sessions to help them arrive at their recommendation to remove Vance Monument.
Chairman Newman stated he was impressed by the collaboration and compromise members of the task force exhibited. “Not everyone that started this process had the same perspective… folks appointed to the task force represented all views.”
The County has not dedicated any funding to the next steps of the process, Chairman Newman noted, but “we are prepared to consider additional support if needed.”