Mayor Joe Ganim announced a few weeks ago the fate of the removed Christopher Columbus statue from Seaside Park should be decided by the Park Board. By a unanimous vote Tuesday night the board wants the statue replaced on its pedestal along the city shoreline within 45 days.
Citing public safety concerns as Columbus protests erupted across the country, the mayor had the statue removed without consent of the commission that oversees parks.
Former State Rep. and two-time mayoral candidate Chris Caruso and former Mayor Lenny Paoletta had started a community dialogue with the goal of keeping the statue in place with some historic context for those opposed to Columbus’s colonization.
City Council members Michael DeFilippo and Jeanette Herron who represent the North End with a solid Italian American community also weighed in to replace the statue with a continuing community conversation.
The Columbus weekend festivities in which Caruso has a strong organizational role including the annual parade that marches down Madison Avenue will take place in two months.
For Caruso, the Columbus statue has become a personal manifesto for an exchange of ideas to reach common ground.
“We have people working together,” he says. “Let’s keep the discussion going so we can come together as a community.”