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The Hollywood Commission is still considering renaming three streets in City named after the Confederate generals Robert E. Lee, John Hood and Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Over the past six months, residents have voiced their opinions both for and against renaming the streets at Commission meetings during Citizen’s comments. In June, at the request of the Commission, the African American Advisory Council met to discuss the sign issue. They then made a recommendation to the commission that the names on the signs be changed.
Commissioners have expressed mixed feelings about changing the names. Some have said they believe the name Forrest should be removed but Hood and Lee should remain. Some have said the names should remain as a history lesson even if that history is less than pleasant. Others have voice concern that changing the names would be too expensive and would inconvenience residents.
City Manager Dr. Wazir Ishmael prepared a report that he has sent to the mayor and commissioners. He discusses residents and activists who have requested that Forrest Street be renamed. The street’s connection to General Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate commander in the Civil War who helped found the KKK, is the cause of the controversy.
Requests have also been made to rename Hood and Lee Streets, which carry similar confederate-era bad vibes.
City staff recently produced the potential costs of renaming a street. An application to rename a street comes with a non-refundable application fee of $2,000. On Forrest Street there are 22 intersections and 44 signs. The cost of installing new signs would be $4,180. On Hood Street there are 21 intersections and 42 signs. The cost of installing new signs would be $3,990. On Lee Street there are 35 intersections and 70 signs. The cost of installing new signs would be $6,650.
There are 310 property owners on Forrest Street throughout Hollywood with about 276 single and multi-family units. Lee Street has 803 property owners with 683 single and multi-family units. Hood Street has 375 property owners with 347 single family units.
Property owners would have to change their addresses with all entities they receive mail from. They would also have to change the address on their drivers licenses, incurring a $25 fee. They will need to replace anything that has the old address including checks and mailing labels.
Businesses may need to replace promotional materials, stationary, checks, and/or signs. Maps and navigation systems would need updating.
At this time, changing the signs has not been placed on an upcoming commission meeting agenda.