When it comes to the Northampton’s Confederate soldier monument, the Board of Supervisors wants a creative approach that is the consensus of residents and uses as few tax dollars as possible.

That’s the apparent takeaway after the county’s November monthly meeting, during which supervisors sought everything from the cost of removing the monument, to ideas from different groups on whether accompanying statues or peace symbols should be built beside it.

“I think we have an opportunity here,” said Supervisor Dixon Leatherbury, but he added,

“We’ve got to make a philosophical decision and we’ve got to make a practical decision.”

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Confederate monuments on public property across the state this year have been criticized by some as being symbolic of slavery, while others have advocated for the preservation of history.

Last month supervisors held a public hearing on the future of the monument after similar statues drew criticism across the state.

Dr. Arthur Carter, a former county supervisor, earlier this year advocated building an accompanying statue, in the likeness of an African-American Union solder, next to it.

Leatherbury said having clubs and organizations participate in the process of interpreting and beautifying the grounds would make the county a model and be an attraction for visitors.

But county supervisors, to a person, wanted more information — including how much removal would cost, and whether other organizations are considering sharing the cost of building a new statue.

And if it is taken down and moved to another site, supervisors wanted someone to share in the relocation price.

Supervisors also seemed intent in ensuring a solution was attained that is palatable for everyone.

Chairman Oliver Bennett, the only African-American member of the board of supervisors, said he saw two sides to the issue.

“All history doesn’t have to be good history,” he said.

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