Petition started after Newton Falls mayor offers to take statues removed from other cities

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NEWTON FALLS, Ohio (WJW)– Newton Falls Mayor Ken Kline and city manager David Lynch told the FOX 8 I-Team they have no plans to back down from their decision to get statues of American leaders that other communities have removed. Some residents are against the concept.

“If we back down that means we are affirming the tearing down of American values that these leaders stand for,” Lynch said on Monday.

Werner Lange, of Newton Falls, is opposed to the idea and started a petition. He said he hopes city leaders will change their minds.

“We have a small village consisting of a few thousand people, and we want peace and quiet,” Lange said. “We do not want this to be a haven for racism and a Mecca for racists. And that is exactly what will happen if this stupid idea of the city manager goes through.”

Lynch signed the proclamation on July 4 declaring Newton Falls a Statuary Sanctuary City. 

The proclamation declares a “general amnesty for George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, Patrick Henry, Francis Scott Key, Theodore Roosevelt and Christopher Columbus as represented by the statues of these great leaders, and volunteering to accept these statues that have been removed throughout the USA and place them in a location of honor in our community.”

Lynch said he believes the leaders accomplished a lot of good.

“Did they have flaws? Yes, they did, we all do” Lynch said. “But they accomplished a lot and got us where we are today.”

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