Why did the City Council feel a need to pass a resolution recognizing the historical significance of a Civil War battle that never took place? Did City Councilman Scott Spencer pursue the resolution to promote healing, as he claimed, or was there a political motive?
Why should this decades-old issue even be considered by the City Council now? The city has much more pressing issues to tackle such as housing, infrastructure and the city budget.
At the council meeting where the resolution was adopted, local resident Jackie Coleman questioned why the resolution was brought forward. She suggested the resolution was to appease certain members of our community. Coleman makes a good point considering Civil War-era activities in and around Jefferson City are well-documented in primary sources and well-researched history books.
When Mayor Carrie Tergin asked Spencer why he brought forth the resolution, he said it was to "heal as a community." More likely it was presented for purely political reasons. Ever since the removal of the United Daughters of the Confederacy marker honoring a Confederate general, accusations of "woke-ism" have been hurled toward the mayor and City Council.
Certain residents are striving to keep this issue alive via pavers, lawsuits, radio talk show appearances and council resolutions, which fuels divisiveness in our community rather than healing. Candidates have unsuccessfully run for City Council on the platform to remove members from City Council in retaliation for their vote to remove the UDC marker. They appear willing to run on this issue again.
In reality, healing begins with listening to each other and treating each member of the community with respect and dignity. When members of our community raise concerns, true leaders will listen and seek to understand the issues at hand and not simply dismiss those they do not understand. Healing comes when elected officials strive to do what's best for all residents rather than carrying out political agendas that pit members of our community against each another.
We hope Spencer will be true to his word and work to heal the community. We trust voters to see through any divisive, culture-war campaign rhetoric and elect officials who will focus on real issues to improve our community. Maybe then true community healing can take place.