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City Hears From Sons of the Confederate Veterans
By Leah Long
PADUCAH, KY - In a special Monday evening meeting, Paducah's City Commission had a short agenda, with the only controversy coming during public comment when Randy Beeler and Michael Swinford addressed the board regarding the on-going controversy with the City of Paducah not allowing the Sons of the Confederate Veterans to be in the annual Veterans Day Parade.

Beeler said he heard City Manager Jim Ardnt on the television saying he wanted to get to the bottom of a "private meeting."  According to Beeler he and Mr. Arrant had got to the meeting to simply "observe."  he said a lady took over the meeting and said it was a meeting open to the public. Beeler said the woman in charge said they were there only to set the theme of the parade and set future parades.  He also said the meeting lasted a mater of minutes and then ended.

He said he and others in his group have been attending the Paducah City Commission meetings for a year and a half and he does not know how to settle it or solve it. Beeler asked if the resolution keeping the group out of the parade is actually a resolution or an ordinance.  Paducah Mayor Brandi Harless confirmed it is a resolution. Beeler said he and others are not causing any problems,  "We feel due to perception, that we have been profiled. I have been called a racist because of this.  There's nothing further from the truth," said Beeler, noting that he and three other member have lifetime achievement certificates for community service and they do so much for the community, yet the city government chose to not include them in the parade.

Beeler said the group respects  veterans and told the commission he was told by Paducah Parks Director Mark Thompson the only way  to get it resolved would be for Commissioner Richard Abraham to make a motion.  Beeler said he was not sure why Thompson called out Abraham specifically, but noted he has been the only commissioner to show some support for the group.

Michael Swinford, of Calvert City, was back at the meeting to address the commission as well regarding the city's decision not to allow the Sons of the Confederate to participate in the parade.He says the commission has lied to the public, saying the Sons of the Confederate Veterans were excluded from the parade because of a resolution, but he says it is not because of that, it is because of the stars and stripes on the Confederate flag."We're proud of this flag.  This country was founded on rebellion. This flag stands for rebellion. Yes, some people have taken the rebellion to heights that are unimaginable, and I abhor them.  So why in the world is everybody afraid of a rebellious flag, when rebellion has ruled this country from the very first shot. I don't understand but don't tell the people it's because of the resolution.  It's not, it's because of this flag right here," said Swinford. Following the public comment session the commission had no comments.

To view the agenda, packet and highlights from the meeting, visit paducahky.gov/2018-city-commission.


On the Net:

City of Paducah website


Published 08:06 PM, Monday Sep. 10, 2018
Updated 09:24 PM, Monday Sep. 10, 2018

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