“This raises the question of what funds are being used for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion and how they can be better allocated all around to create a positive cycle of change.”
“Each segment of the community is yelling at the elected officials to promote its particular point of view, but there’s no structure for helping us all listen to one another across differences, en route to achieving mutually agreeable solutions.”
“What a great opportunity for Asheville and the Chamber of Commerce to pronounce Asheville as Rock City, N.C., in competition with Rock City, Tenn.”
“Regarding Charlotte Street development, etc.: Outrageous that Avl taxpayers’ property tax is raised 22% without a plan to preserve trees that lure residents and tourists.”
“Let’s replace that obelisk with a giant microphone in honor of the late, great Nina Simone!”
“To maintain civic cohesion, we must convince these souls that despite the failure of their cause, they can return to the fold as legitimate members of this community. Think of it as a kind of reconstruction.”
Work started May 17, and demolition of the 123-year-old monument to Zebulon Baird Vance in downtown Asheville is expected to take two weeks to complete, says city spokesperson Polly McDaniel. Costs to take down the structure block by block will reach roughly $114,000, while an additional $25,500 has been allocated for site restoration following the monument’s removal.
“There are other costs that need to be factored in, particularly for those in our community who see the monument, whether named for a historical figure or having a different name, as one that would remain hurtful and even traumatic if it continues to stand.”
“Perhaps with a creative compromise, the past and future can be forged together for healing.”
“Here’s a thought experiment that might help put things in perspective: Long ago, let’s say 1897, the people of Buncombeville erected a 65-foot statue in the shape of a gigantic fish and dedicated it to ‘Jesus Christ: Savior. Healer. Orator. Rebel. Winemaker.'”
“Could it be more affordable and beneficial to use what’s already there and make it work together, rather than tearing it down?”
“Why haven’t the public comments to the Vance Monument commission been published on a website so we can have an informed discussion?”
The county funds represent half of the $70,000 price tag for hiring a consultant to determine what’s next for the location.
“I’m looking forward to the day we can have a centerpiece in our city that reflects Asheville today,” said Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer. “And I’m proud to be part of the Council that will make this change.”
Removing Asheville’s Vance Monument will cost between $114,150 and $495,000, according to five bids submitted by North Carolina-based construction and demolition companies.
“Hiding history only tempts us to repeat it.”
“Displaying chains and manacles on the sides of the monument would be a similar thought-provoker. To explain the sight would be to consider our local history of slavery and convict labor.”
“My proposal is to rename the shaft of stone on Pack Square as Peace Monument.”
“The uh-oh moment came when the appointed commission, conspicuously lacking local architects or representatives from historic preservation, came back with an 11-1 suggestion of removal.”
“The repurposing of the Vance Monument would present an opportunity, not only for learning, but also to add yet another layer to the history and growth of this community.”