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Decision to reject removal of Confederate monument appealed to Madison City Council

September 7, 2018

The fate of a monument listing the names of Confederate soldiers buried in Madison’s Forest Hill Cemetery will return to the City Council.

Ald. Allen Arntsen, who was recently appointed to serve as the 13th District representative, filed an appeal against the decision of the Landmarks Commission last month after the body voted to reject the removal of the monument. Eleven of the 20 City Council members would need to support the appeal to successfully overturn the decision.

In April, the City Council approved the removal of the large, stone monument from a portion of the Near West Side cemetery known as Confederate Rest. But since Forest Hill Cemetery is a designated landmark, the commission needed to weigh in on the issue.

Some commission members argued that getting rid of the monument, which was installed in 1906 and funded by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, would go against the city’s historic preservation ordinance that is meant to guide their decisions. Commissioners voted 3-1 to block the removal.

In his appeal, Arntsen said its removal “is not detrimental to the public interest and retention of said monument in its present location is contrary to the general welfare of the city of Madison.”

The appeal will be introduced at the City Council’s meeting on Sept. 25, and members are expected to vote on it at a future date.

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