Just hours after telling a Cookeville City Council Work Session that he was not “for the removal of monuments at all,” Council Member Mark Miller posted to social media Monday questioning whether the confederate monument at Cookeville City Cemetery should be removed.
Miller removed the post several hours later.
“There is an apparent violation with one of the subsections (of the city agreement),” Miller said Tuesday. “I feel that the monument probably needs to be removed due to this. But there is due process involved with this.”
“There’s a subsection in their terms and agreements with the city that it appears they are in direct violation of,” Miller said. “That’s about as far as I can go on this right now, but it appears they’re in violation of a subsection of their agreement with the city.”
Miller said during the work session he did not have a complete view of the situation. He said his thoughts changed after he received more facts about the agreement.
City Manager James Mills confirmed a 2000 agreement exists between the City of Cookeville and the Dillard-Judd Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He said the certificate of agreement between the two parties allows for a placement of a monument in the City Cemetery. As far as he knows, Mills said the group has adhered to that agreement.
Miller said that if a violation exists, just like with any other citizen or group, action should be taken fix the problem. He did say, however, that he removed the post because other facts were presented to him late Monday night.
“I removed the post just due to there being some legal issues with a new section that was just presented to me,” Miller said. “That section of the document was not presented to me until late last night or early this morning.”
Miller said he is taking action on what he feels is an important issue to all Cookeville citizens. He said helping everyone feel welcome in the city is his goal.
“I just want the city to be the most inclusive diverse city in the United States,” Miller said. “Monuments that do not lead to diversity and inclusion within the city, I do not agree with. I don’t feel they should be part of the city.”