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City leaders respond to 'put monuments back' banner flown over TIAA Bank Field

City councilman Matt Carlucci and mayoral candidates Donna Deegan and Al Ferraro chimed in on the controversy.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Take them down or leave them alone?

The conversation has picked up again after a banner with a confederate flag reading "put monuments back" was flown over Downtown Jacksonville near TIAA Bank Field on Sunday.

"Of all places, the stadium where we're trying to unify our city and to try to use that as a place to wedge division. I just thought was the worst of manners," City Councilmember Matt Carlucci said. 

Carlucci proposed a bill in February to remove confederate monuments, but it was voted down by city council.

He says he's tired of the lack of action.

Fellow city councilmember, Al Ferraro, who is also running for mayor, wants to leave the monuments alone saying there are more pressing issues.

"Even running as mayor, I don't have people coming up to me talking about monuments and confederate statues they're talking about what's happening with the crime in our city they're talking about what's happening with all the money our road infrastructure why is our roads in the condition that they're in the bridges why are we having flooding issues throughout our city those are really the issues people are asking about." Ferraro said.

Ferraro did not condone nor condemn the banner flown over TIAA Bank Field on Sunday, but added it was a distraction from more important problems in the city.

We reached out to the other mayoral candidates. Donna Deegan** responded.

“Once again, symbols of hate are on display as Jacksonville is on the national stage. But it doesn’t reflect our inclusive city. We stand united against any and all forms of hate, and we will take down all the monuments to a dark past. That’s our message to the rest of the world.” Deegan said in a statement to First Coast News. 

We are still waiting to hear back from the other seven candidates. 

**In full transparency, Deegan's husband is First Coast News' Chief Meteorologist, Tim Deegan. Tim is not involved in our political coverage.




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