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Palm Springs moves forward with removing Bogert Statue from city hall

KESQ

Palm Springs has taken the next steps towards removing the statue of former Mayor Frank Bogert from City Hall.

On Tuesday, the Palm Springs Historic Site Preservation Board approved the certificate of appropriateness for the removal of the statue. The decision by the board dates back to at least November.

In addition to the approval, the board added a strong recommendation to the city to ensure that the statue be relocated to a publicly accessible site.

The vote came down with four boardmembers in favor, two opposed, and one abstain.

A possible relocation site for the statue was not officially added to the motion.

The decision comes after a year-and-half long outcry from various members of the public following accusations that Bogert was part of the removal of hundreds of people from a one-square-mile block of property in downtown Palm Springs referred to as Section 14.

From 1954 to 1966 about 200 structures were demolished and burned. The actions displaced hundreds of low-income residents and people of color to make room for hotels and further tourism. The city did not have a plan to relocate the residents, forcing many of them to move to the north part of town and throughout the county.

The demolition of Section 14 was described in a later California Department of Justice report as "a city engineered holocaust."

Last April, the city's Human Rights Commission recommended the statue's removal, hoping to separate the city from "past racism and its continuing impacts."

In Sept., the City Council voted to remove the statue and issue an apology for the city government's role in the destruction of Section 14

Frank Bogert's widow, Negie Bogert, said the campaign to move a statue of her husband is full of slander and lies.

"I don't think that he was perfect but he was not by any means what they portray him as being," Negie told News Channel 3's Jake Ingrassia in Sept.

The group 'Friends of Frank Bogert' advocated for keeping the statue right where it is, calling the efforts to reconcile with the past a smear campaign meant to vilify Bogert.

The monument to Bogert was installed in front of city hall on March 31, 1990, to honor and recognize his decades of service to the community. Bogert is known as one of Palm Springs' most famous cowboys. He served as the city's mayor from 1958 to 1966. He served as mayor a second time from 1982 to 1988.

He died in 2009 at the age of 99.

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Jesus Reyes

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