By Velena Jones

PLACERVILLE (CBS13) —  A controversial city logo sporting a noose in its background is back up for debate in Placerville.

This discussion is nothing new, but COVID protocols have made it difficult to find a way to include public input. Now the city council is taking action to make sure the troubled topic is not forgotten.

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“It is quite controversial and I think there is a big divide within the community about what we ultimately do,” said councilmember Michael Saragosa.

The council tabled the discussion of whether to keep the moniker or remove the symbol last summer due to COVID safety protocols, preventing the council to meet in person for public comment. The issue is now back up for debate former mayor and current councilmember Michael Saragosa hopes the meetings happen in person.

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“I do think we will have a more healthy and vibrant discussion if we have it in person,” he explained.

CBS13 spoke to residents on how they felt over the controversy last year.

“I don’t want to represent that and I don’t think the city should represent that either,” explained resident Kelly Rodgers.

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Michael Valdez, a local tattoo artist, said he thought ill feelings towards the symbol may be unfounded.

“It could be misguided because nobody was lynched here for racial reasons. It was capital punishment,” Valdez said.

The city council recently voted to appoint councilmembers Patty Borrelli and Vice Mayor Kara Taylor to review options and present recommendations to staff on how to move forward.

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“Is this a council action, is this a vote of the community, do we take polling of folks, all of those items are going to be discussed,” explained Saragosa.

Committee will look at ways to include public comment safely in the age of COVID. They will also look at the possibility of hosting a series of virtual or in-person community conversations, according to Saragosa.

“I think this is probably a series of meetings, maybe a lot of research to see what decision we ultimately come to,” he said. “I want to make sure we have a thorough enough conversation where people feel like they were heard, that we actually had a real conversation and didn’t rubber-stamp something.”

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The committee is expected to submit their recommendations at the end of March, from there council will vote on a solution. Saragosa said it could still take months before a decision is made.

Velena Jones