Tazewell, Va. – Another issue may be about to go on the ballot in Tazewell County this November.
Supervisory Mike Hymes said at the June 25 meeting of the board of supervisors that he had received a petition to preserve the statute in front of the Tazewell County Courthouse. Hymes said he had been told another petition was coming to ask for the removal of it.
County Attorney Chase Collins said the law allowing memorials and statues to be removed did not take effect until July 1. Once the law is in effect the local governing body has sole authority to decide what happens to the monuments.
The locality may remove it, relocate it, contextualize it or cover it. Local boards are required to hold a public hearing or hold an advisory referendum prior to taking any action on the issue.
If the board were to decide to take action on the monument they would have to offer it to a museum, historical society, or government or military battlefield first. One of those organizations would have 30 days to take possession and relocate it.
The supervisors voted to reconvene their meeting July 7 at four p.m. to make a decision on how to proceed. Collins said that was probably the latest the board could act and leave him time to prepare an order asking for the issue to go on the ballot.
Country Registrar Brian Earls said Aug. 14 is the last day a referendum could be placed on the ballot.