PUEBLO — After hours of public comment at city council, the future of the Columbus statue in Pueblo will not go to a vote.
Pueblo City Council met Monday night to discuss and vote on whether the issue should be decided on the November ballot. Every council member voted no.
News5's Colette Bordelon reports the council asked for anyone who was in favor of putting the issue on the ballot and no one spoke up. Then when council called for people against the issue, dozens stepped up with many saying they feel council was rushing to get rid of their responsibility to make a decision.
The council said they wanted to hurry the vote because the deadline to place something on the ballot is on Friday. However, they ultimately believed the ballot question could have created a deeper divide within the community, and came up with a new plan instead.
Now, council wants to make the area where the statue sits part of the library, which is technically considered a museum. They also want to allow the mediator to continue working with both groups. "The good thing, if this all works out, it doesn't solve the problem for one year, or two years, it solves the problem indefinitely," said Council President Dennis Flores.
Flores said the process could take around six months to complete. He did say council holds the power to grant the statue to the library.
Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar released the following statement following the vote.
“Tonight, Pueblo proved we do things differently than the rest of the United States. Puebloans work together and we find solutions together - this is what I call finding the Pueblo Solution,” said Gradisar. “I want to commend City Council President Dennis Flores and City Council for taking considerate but decisive action to give the mediation process a chance to work.”