Council President Corey Pack said he was “very heartbroken” by the county council’s recent 3-2 vote against removing a monument to rebel soldiers from the courthouse grounds.
Pack, speaking Sunday night on the “A Miner Detail” podcast hosted by Ryan Miner, said he and Councilman Pete Lesher introduced several amendments to Resolution 290 in an effort to get the third vote for removal from Councilman Frank Divilio, serving his first term on the council.
“I was hoping, I was hoping, that we would have that third vote to remove the statue,” he said.
Divilio voted Aug. 14 with Council Vice President Chuck Callahan and Councilwoman Laura Price against Resolution 290, which would have removed the monument from its prominent position outside the entrance to the Talbot County Court House, which contains the Talbot County Circuit Court, county council chambers, register of wills, among other offices.
The monument has a statue of a young flag bearer carrying the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia atop a base with the names of more than 80 men with Talbot County connections who fought against the United States of America during the Civil War.
Pack had previously joined Callahan and Price in voting against the statue’s removal when local residents and organizations pushed for that after the Charleston, S.C., church shooting in 2015 and the Charlottesville, Va., protests involving white supremacists in 2017 in which a counter-protester was killed by a man who drive into a crowd.
He has said he was wrong and has apologized for previously voting in favor of keeping the statue on the courthouse grounds.
“To a lot of Americans, to a lot of Talbot Countians, these statues, these monuments, romanticize or, if you would, promote a lifestyle or a cause that is no longer looked upon by many Americans as one that we should hold in so high esteem,” Pack said on the podcast.
He said the Talbot rebels fought for “a wrong cause” and the statue should be moved to a museum, historical society, or a cemetery, and not remain on public land in front of the courthouse.
The monument is the last Confederate monument on public land in Maryland.
Joining Pack on the podcast were Len Foxwell, chief of staff to Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot; Wini Roche, president of Roche & Associates and the former executive director of the Maryland Tourism Coalition; Mark J. McLaurin, director of political and legislative affairs for the Service Employees International Union Local 500; and Richard DeShay Elliott, Maryland progressive activist and candidate for state delegate in Prince George’s County.