Save Our Circle group reacts to Landrieu's plans for monument sites

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "At the end of the day, we would rather have the monuments put back," said George Peterson with Save our Circle.

Peterson said Mayor Mitch Landrieu's plan of action for the future of the sites where Confederate-era monuments once stood is ridiculous.

"I say we just leave the blighted public property as it is as a reminder of the atrocity that Mitch Landrieu perpetrated," Peterson said.

"Those monuments would have kept New Orleans from being as great as it can be," Landrieu said in an exclusive interview with FOX 8 Wednesday, in which he laid out his plan for the now-vacant spots around New Orleans.

"The Ford Foundation has been a partner rebuilding the city from the beginning, and they have given us some planning dollars that are going to be utilized by the Foundation of Louisiana to begin a public process to think about what's going to go where Lee Circle is today and where it used to be," Landrieu said.

"The Ford Foundation isn't even from Louisiana. I think Louisiana people don't want people from up North telling us how we should take care of our city," Peterson said.

The Ford Foundation is a world wide charitable group that has assisted in rebuilding efforts, and Landrieu said it will pay for a planning process.

"After that process, they and the Arts Council will recommend to the City Council and the mayor what to do there," Landrieu said.

The Mayor already has a plan for the old Jefferson Davis pedestal on Canal Street.

"We thought it was appropriate to put up an American flag and a flagpole, which we are in the process of doing," he said.

When it comes to the site of the old Beauregard Statue, the mayor said the City Park Improvement Association will decide what will be there.

Landrieu said the site behind Canal Place, where the Liberty Monument once stood, will remain vacant.

Peterson, who opposed the removal of the monuments in the first place, said he just wants to see them back in their original spots.

"We don't want to have any changes made until we are at a position where we have these monuments replaced," Peterson said.

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