Columbus’ Namesake Statue To Be Placed In Storage, Its Future To Be Determined

(Columbus) The Columbus Common Council Tuesday voted to place the city-owned Christopher Columbus statue into storage until a decision on what to do with it is made. The matter was spurred by a petition to remove the statue from its current location on Highway 16/60 and 151.

Twelve people spoke during public comments, seemingly split on what should be done. The council discussed the idea of having the matter be decided by referendum. The city attorney noted the council would have to determine if it would be advisory or binding and decide its wording all before August 25th which is the deadline to have the question placed on the November ballot. Mayor Michael Thom says he would support a referendum and believes a community vote would yield a result where no one can blame anyone for under representation.

However, several council members argued against a referendum and felt the issue should not be delayed any further including Alderwoman Katie Ryan. She says herself and other members of the council were elected to make decisions for the community and with an issue this contentious, they should not throw it back at the community.

Alderman Ian Gray echoed Ryan’s sentiments and added that if people do not like his decision, those who live in his district can vote for someone else.

Gray made a motion to place the statue, which would remain under city ownership, into storage until a permanent decision of its use can be made. Council members Trina Reid, Mike McCabe and Katie Ryan voted in favor while Paul Pyfferoen voted against.

Watch the meeting at: