Lakeland's Confederate statue may rise again

Lakeland’s statue of a confederate soldier may be on the move again. 

After a year of controversy and a federal lawsuit, the city just re-located the monument from Munn Park in downtown Lakeland to Veteran’s Memorial Park, next to the RP Funding Center.

“It is beautifully framed with some oak trees,” said city spokesman Kevin Cook. “It is in a very nice setting.”

But the statue will not be there forever if David McCallister gets his way.

Last year, McCallister filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and a number of other groups. The suit wanted to block the city from moving the statue. 

The suit was dismissed. The city kept moving ahead with its plans, and the monument was relocated at a cost of a quarter-million dollars. The money came from red light camera citations.

Undeterred, McCallister just filed an appeal. If the appeal is granted, the city may have to move the statue back to Munn Park and spend even more money.

“The commission should have thought of that,” said McCallister. “They should have waited until the lawsuit was over. Instead, they precipitously moved hastily.”

The city has no comment on the pending appeal because it has not seen the paperwork yet.