This video is about five minutes long.
The county council’s vice president took issue Tuesday with comments the council president made Sunday night on a podcast discussion about the Confederate statue on the courthouse grounds.
“If there’s opportunities where the president of the council is taking care of remarks and stuff on a radio station and doing comments, I’d really appreciate that you give us, some of the council, the respect when there’s a very, very important day next Tuesday that means a lot to all of us when it comes to Frederick Douglass and you sorta bashed us a little bit.
“And I really didn’t appreciate that so I’d really, really would like you to, if you have something to say to us, just call me okay and voice your flustration,” Callahan said as his voice thickened with emotion. “I know you did it in flustration, but it was very, very disrespectful to us.”
Pack said he appreciated Callahan’s comments, which were directed at Pack’s remarks about the private Sept. 1 unveiling of plaques at the Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe. The private ceremony will be followed by the opening of the park to the public.
“Of course we all know, Frederick Douglass was an abolitionist, he fought against slavery, I think he fought against everything that the Talbot Boys statue stands for,” Pack said Tuesday. “I guess you’re referring to my comments about that particular event.”
Speaking Sunday night on the “A Miner Detail” podcast episode discussing the Confederate statue, Pack noted that the three council members who voted against removal likely would make an appearance for the park unveiling, which will feature Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford and Douglass descendants.
“You’re going to have those same council members who voted against taking down that statue, right, they’re going to come up there September the first and pose for every picture around the lieutenant governor regarding the Frederick Douglass unveiling of those (plaques) in honor of, in honor, and get this, the second annual Underground Railroad Month as we kick it off here in Talbot County on Sept. 1,” Pack said Sunday.
“You’re going to have those same council members come up, throw their arms around the lieutenant governor at the park on the Tuckahoe. How disingenuous is that? You vote two weeks ago not to take down this statue that’s a symbol of slavery and racism but yet you’re going to run up there for a photo op on Sept. 1,” he said on the podcast.
Responding Tuesday to Callahan’s comments, Pack said the council needed to have a discussion about what members say versus what they do.
Earlier in the meeting, he noted, Dr. Fredia Wadley, the county’s health officer, had given a report on COVID-19. The county council subsequently passed an emergency declaration that did not include several measures requested by Dr. Wadley.
“You can’t bring the health officer here in front of us to give a report but at the same time pass an emergency declaration that tears out everything that the health officer asked us to do,” he said. “I’m speaking about what we’re saying and what we’re doing.
As the meeting was held, demonstrators gathered outside the council chambers to chant, bang drums and blow air horns in peaceful protest against the council vote.
During public comments at the end of the meeting, Henry Herr, a longtime proponent for the statue’s removal, was the only caller.
“I’m obviously a little upset about the vote that happened last week and there’s obviously a lot of vocal opposition going on tonight and obviously will continue,” Herr said. “I can’t say that I’m surprised (by the vote), but the fact that there was mention stated that a vote shouldn’t be taken on something like this because of COVID while members on this council are voting not to follow the health officer’s guidelines for COVID seems a little hypocritical.”
Herr also said Councilwoman Laura Price had falsely claimed that there were no private funds for the statue’s removal when he had offered to pay for its removal on multiple occasions. Others also have publicly pledged to donate for the removal costs.
“If you want to vote on something, please at least state the facts that you don’t want the statue to come down, not that it can’t be paid for by private citizens that have already come forward multiple times ….,” he said.