Initiative To Raise Funds For Confederate Statue Removal Falls Short, Only $45K Raised Towards Million Dollar Goal; Taxpayers Expected To Cover $1.8 Million Cost

An optimistic Mayor Levar Stoney announced in early July that the expense of removing the city's confederate statues would largely be defrayed by generous private donations. Today the organizers of the Fund To Move the Monuments announced that they would terminate their efforts with only $45,000 to contribute towards the city's $1.8 million expenses.

At a July 1 city council meeting Stoney argued for the urgent removal of the statues and asserted that his authority as city emergency operations director permitted him to act unilaterally to relocate the statues to storage. Stoney dismissed critics who questioned the substantial hit to the city budget insisting that “a private philanthropic effort is going on to raise dollars to cover the costs to the city.”

Backtracking on those earlier claims the Stoney administration told Richmond BizSense “The administration appreciates the efforts of all involved, but it should be understood that the administration’s action to remove the monuments July 1 was taken by the mayor in his capacity as emergency management director in the interest of public safety, and was not predicated on the intention or expectation that it would be financed through private donations.”

In addition to the failed fundraising effort Stoney continues to face scrutiny for his involvement and ties to a Newport News based firm contracted to perform the statue removal and relocation efforts.

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