Dover board approves placement of SCV monument

By BONNIE LILL
The Stewart Houston Times
March 2, 2010

After four years of on and off negotiation, the Dover Board of Mayor and Aldermen finally approved, on a 3-2 vote, the placement of a monument by the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #249 honoring the local people who served in the Battle of Dover in 1863.

Prior to this, the board also approved, again on a vote of 3-2, guidelines for the placement of historical and honorary monuments and markers on town property.

Voting against both items were aldermen Terry Odom and Paul “Bud” Berry.

Voting in favor were aldermen James Boren, Tim Barrow and Mayor Lesa Fitzhugh.

This all occurred at the regular February 8 meeting of the Dover Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Before the vote, Town Administrator Jeff Knott gave some background. He said that up until now, the town had no definitive policy on monuments.

The discussion on this particular monument had begun in 2006 but the item had been tabled twice in the absence of formal guidelines.

Town attorney Larry Watson had been asked at the previous meeting to look into any legalities surrounding the placement of such monuments. At the February meeting, Watson reported that there was nothing to prohibit monuments and markers.

“It’s strictly your call,” he said.

However, he essentially said that common sense would dictate that the town would need to be sure that the information on the sign or marker would be historically accurate and appropriate.

He also said that following the January meeting, he went to a Stewart County Commission meeting where the legislative body voted to put up historical signs reflecting the same Civil War era theme. The Dover monument and the county signs would complement one another and add another tourism dimension to the area.

Knott allowed board members time to look over the proposed guidelines, which cover issues such as monument size, location, financial liability, maintenance, etc.

Ultimately, the board would make final determinations about any given monument. Sponsoring organizations would be required to buy, install, maintain, and if necessary, remove the signs or monuments.

Watson said all guidelines were legal.

The SCV monument meets all criteria and will be installed in the gazebo area in the future.

In other business, the board honored outgoing Ward 2 Alderman James Boren for his service to the town. Amid applause, Knott presented Boren with a clock containing an inscription detailing their gratitude.

Boren said that he had been proud to serve the town, and he was especially proud of the progress the board has made with regard to the water and sewer system.

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