The statue of President William McKinley was removed from Arcata’s Plaza on Thursday, February 28. City staff continued with the statue removal process when a break in the rain occurred with a long enough window for it to be transported safely and at a time when Plaza businesses, parking and traffic would be least impacted.
The City is currently working with the City of Canton, Ohio to relocate the statue.
McKinley Statue Recap
Last year, on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, the Arcata City Council voted in favor of relocating the McKinley statue from the center of Arcata’s Plaza.
The statue was identified as a historic feature of the Plaza in the City’s guiding document called the General Plan, which required City staff to complete an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prior taking action on relocating the statue. The intent of environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) was to describe the potential impacts of removing McKinley to City officials and the public prior to removing McKinley.
Following the Council's vote, a petition to prohibit the removal of the statue and its base was circulated to the Arcata community and received 1,426 signatures, which qualified the petition to become a ballot measure for the general election that took place on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.
On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, registered Arcata voters had the opportunity to vote in favor of, or against the McKinley measure, known as Measure M. The majority of Arcata voters (67.81%) voted Measure M down. Based on the outcome of the general election, City staff initiated the review of relocating the McKinley statue from the center of Arcata’s Plaza.
On Wednesday, February 20, City Council certified the Final Environmental Impact Report and instructed City staff to work with the City of Canton, Ohio to relocate the statue. The Council instructed City staff to remove the statue quickly and safely.
For more information on the history of the McKinley Statue, please click here.