At least $500,000 would have been allocated to remove such controversial statues as the Daughters of the Confederacy monument and a pillar commemorating Confederate soldiers.
Roughly 88 residents signed up to make public comments during the council meeting, according to a report.
While proponents of the measure argued the monuments are representative of racism, opponents argued they are part of the city’s history and should be preserved.
The latter won out, and no discussion of the measure took place before it was voted down, according to a report.
“I stand for the preservation of Jacksonville’s history in all its totality without the slightest omission,” one speaker said. “Please let us find another way to promote and foster unity and healing without taking away the statues.”
Another speaker argued that removing the statues would be an endeavor of little worth. “How is destroying statues improving the lives of any Americans?” she said. “Use my tax money to fight evil by making our schools as safe as any government building. You are elected into office to represent us, not defer bills.”
Opponents of the monuments promised to keep fighting.
“We’re not going to stop fighting. We’re not going to stop coming out here,” Monique Sampson of the Jacksonville Community Action Committee said.
“We’re not going to stop putting the pressure on [City Council] to do what’s right and be on the right side of history,” she added.